Finding a More Rewarding Career Path
Svetlana “Lana” Butkevich was on the pathway to earning a master’s degree in clinical psychology when she realized she wanted something different for her life: a career that would involve less sitting but still allow her to help people. Trained in taking X-rays at the animal hospital where she worked part-time, Butkevich, 28, realized that sort of work provided her with greater satisfaction. So she turned to County College of Morris (CCM) and enrolled in the Radiography program. After she earns her Associate in Applied Science, Butkevich will be qualified to directly enter the marketplace as a radiologic technologist. She also will have a distinct advantage as a result of being selected by the American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT) to take part in its summer Student Leadership Development Program. The ASRT leadership program provides students with the opportunity to attend educational sessions and network with medical imaging and radiologic professionals. Participants are selected based on a 500 to 700 word essay. About 50 students from across the country are selected for the program each year. “The student leadership program will show me how to set personal and professional goals as a technologist,” Butkevich wrote in her essay. “The ability to quickly adapt to new ideas and technologies also will allow me to achieve consistent and significant success.” Prior to enrolling at CCM, Butkevich was enrolled in the master’s in clinical psychology program at Seton Hall University. She previously earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Rutgers University. “My goal was to go on and earn a Ph.D., but then I realized I didn’t really want to do that,” she recalls. “I never really had a sit-down job and found that I didn’t want one. As a radiologic technologist, I will be part of a team, helping people and not tied to a desk.” She credits her father, Alexander, for giving her the emotional support she needed to change direction. “He’s my biggest fan,” she says. At CCM, she adds, she also found professors who were willing to take the time to guide her, too. “I feel they want us to graduate knowing that we are confident giving 100 percent to our patients. They are not the type of professors who just say, ‘Here’s the information.’ They want you to succeed. They care and you can feel that.” Once she finds her first job as a radiologic professional, Butkevich then plans to also become certified in CAT and MRI scanning. “You can never have too many initials after your name,” she notes.