From hairdresser to radiography technologist | New York School of Career and Applied Studies

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NYSCAS student Alexandra Giannotta pictured with her son James

Why drew you to a career in X-ray technology?

For the past 11 years, I have worked as a hairdresser at a salon located in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. While there are many aspects of this role that I enjoyed, including making people feel like the best version of themselves and being able to relate to a diverse group of people that I might never have met otherwise, I realized I wanted to do more. to help people live better lives, beyond their physical appearance. I also needed a job that would allow me to have a better work-life balance, as I often worked 12 hours a day, but still did not have access to essential benefits such as time off. sickness plan and a pension plan.

While changing careers at 30 was something that initially scared me, I knew I wanted to pursue a job in the medical field. After doing some research, I came across an article outlining the responsibilities of a radiologic technologist. This exciting position ticked all the boxes I was looking for in a new career, including offering more stable working hours. I knew it would also allow me to work closely with patients, a great passion for me, as well as the opportunity to work in different settings such as hospitals and offices. I also loved being able to enter the field with my diploma in just two years.

Why did you decide to join NYSCAS?

First, the college enjoys an excellent reputation in the field of medical imaging. Then after meeting a few professors and program staff during the interview process, they were incredibly encouraging and immediately put me at ease, even telling me that it was a rigorous and time-consuming program. I was nervous about entering this new medical world. But from the moment I submitted my course enrollment application, the continued support I received made me take the plunge as I knew I would have people ready to help me get over it. any challenges I might face.

As well as being a full-time student, congratulations on giving birth to your son James last summer! How do you balance your growing family and student responsibilities?

I gave birth to my son James, who is now four months old, just before the start of the summer finals. I ended up finishing the 2021 summer semester a week after giving birth with a GPA of 3.8.

When COVID hit in March 2020, I started taking distance education courses. It has been a challenge balancing all of my growing responsibilities since becoming a mother, especially since I returned to learning in person when James was only five weeks old. Making the transition to commuting most of the week for many hours each day, while still doing my homework and going to my clinical placements has been a lot to me. Through it all, I kept reminding myself that it was the best decision to advance my career and give my son the best life. I could not have continued to advance in my educational journey without my incredible support system, including my fiance. I joke that he deserves an honorary degree, but I really think none of this would have been possible without his help. Staying organized and leveraging key time management techniques have also been essential in helping me be successful as a student.

What key advice would you give to other moms looking to go back to school or someone making the decision to resume their career?

The only advice I can give is to do it! There’s never a good time to make a big change, and it’s the hardest thing you can do. Don’t just choose a career, instead analyze the job market opportunities in this field after college. Make sure you have people in your life who will support you while reaching your goals. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and all the temporary obstacles you face are worth overcoming so that you can create the brightest possible life for you and your family.


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