After a Variety of Jobs, UEI Student Found the Right Fit as Medical Assistant

Samuel Spillman has had careers in the military, law enforcement and even went to school for HVAC but through all those experiences he discovered his real passion is for helping people.

“I’ve seen so many people in life already who couldn’t help themselves because they were too afraid to ask or their pride got in the way for them to ask for help,” he said. “I wanted to be able to give back to individuals who need help and be able to show compassion and sympathy for them.”

In his personal life, Samuel spent 10 years taking care of his grandparents before they passed away. The situation introduced him to the idea of working in the medical field and he decided to enroll in the Medical Assistant program at UEI College in Fresno.

“I like to be able to help people,” he said.


Samuel found opportunities to help people right away as a student. He became a student ambassador, encouraged other students to stay motivated, and his instructor says he was well known and well liked on campus.

“He was very helpful for me as an instructor,” said Erika Razo, MA instructor at UEI Fresno. “He would always ask if I needed help setting up something, but he was helpful outside the classroom too. He would help any student, any department. Students knew they could go up to him if they needed help and a lot of students took advantage of that.”

Erika said many students struggle to ask for help when they need it. Having Samuel in the classroom took that pressure away because they always knew they could ask him first.

“He’s always asking questions and I think that helps him be a fast learner. He has never afraid or embarrassed to ask any question,” she said. “A lot of students don’t come to the instructor when they need help, because they feel embarrassed, and he made it easier for others. They would go to him and then he would tell me if they needed a little extra help. That made it a little easier to know where my other students needed help.”

Asking questions is an important part of life to Samuel and it was the best part of the program.

“The fact that you could always ask a question and never be looked down upon was a big thing,” he said. “As a student you’re going into a program that you know nothing about and you have questions but you’re timid because you don’t want to sound dumb but, you can tell there’s no such thing as a dumb question. Someone else may have the same question. Never be afraid to ask a question.”

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At the completion of the program Samuel was able to graduate with honors and was hired at the site where he completed his externship. The fact that every day brings new and different challenges has made the job enjoyable, Samuel said.

“No patient is the same. No one’s problem is the same. Being able to build a rapport and relationship with individuals so they feel more comfortable when they come in with you is a great thing,” he said.

This new career feels like a fresh start for Samuel, after a slew of jobs that felt like work.

“It’s never too late in life to start a new career. Follow the passion you have and if it’s something you enjoy doing, do it,” he said. “I am a U.S. navy-military veteran, overcame a past, and was given a second chance with a career. Through UEI, I got the training and hands on that I needed to pursue my dreams.  I hope others will take the next step in their lives and give UEI a chance to help make a difference for themselves like UEI has for me.”

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