When Terri O’Brien got laid off from her job, she was frightened and nervous about her future. In her 50s, she didn’t think she stood much of a shot in a competitive job market. Then, a career advisor explained the concept of retraining and urged her to think about starting a new career.
“I didn’t think it would be easy,” said Terri “and I wasn’t sure I could do it.”
But Terri decided she had to give it a try. She settled in on dental assisting as her new career goal and enrolled at a school specializing in allied health. However, the school soon closed. Terri could have given up at that first obstacle. Instead, she focused on finding the right school for career training that would help her become a dental assistant.
“I knew Porter and Chester was different from the start,” said Terri. “At the other school, there would be an instructor at the front of the class just talking, talking, talking. At PCI, we were engaged. My instructor was upbeat and knowledgeable and very involved. She was always available to answer questions and you could tell she really liked what she was doing.”
Terri says that she and her classmates spent mornings in the classroom, but then were given an opportunity to try out what they had learned right away by spending afternoons in the labs.
“The lab was really hands-on,” said Terri. “but I really liked both parts. I learned so much.”
According to Terri, one of the reasons she was able to learn so well was because Porter and Chester Institute kept class sizes small.
“We got a lot of individual time,” said Terri. “In smaller classes, you can do more, learn more.”
Terri said she had to work hard, but that she’s proud of all she accomplished. And she’s especially happy with where she landed.
“I love my job. I love the office I’m in,” said Terri. “I enjoy going to work every day.”
Terri works as a dental assistant for Dr. Mia Fitzgerald in Sudbury. She says she helps with dental work, maintains the lab and pitches in around the office. She says it’s a small, but vibrant practice and she loves how busy she is.
“In hindsight,” said Terri, “it actually ended up being a blessing in disguise that I got laid off. I’m so glad that I got the opportunity I did so I could wind up here doing a job I love.”