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Want better grades? Try working out!


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Let’s face it- with work, class, homework and going out with friends, going to the gym does not sound appealing. It is so easy to just order pizza and call it a night instead. Most of us understand all the benefits of exercise but the only problem is, that enthusiasm does not always hit when your alarm screams “wake up and exercise. A report presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 57th annual meeting in Baltimore finds that college students who regularly engage in vigorous exercise get better grades. So how can you find the time and more important the energy to exercise in college?

1. Lose the snooze
Simple math is to cut out an hour of evening TV, and set your alarm to wake up an hour earlier - and don't keep hitting the snooze button! Exercising in the morning can jumpstart your metabolism and keeps it elevated for hours. The better you feel, the more likely you’ll be to make positive and productive choices. Getting up early sets you up for success all day long!

2. Cut down on social media
How much time does social networking suck out of your life?  Get out of your room and go workout instead. This is the best time to get your blood moving and using your time wisely.

3. Start with easy commitment
Choose a target level that you know you will be able to achieve maybe something like 50 sit-up every day for a week and so on. Keeping realistic goals, writing it down, posting it inspires you to do more.

4. Find an activity
Choosing a physical activity you really enjoy is important because not only are you more likely to do it, it also adds fun into your life. Try different types of exercises to figure out what works best for you. There are so many ways to be active besides going to the gym. Figure out if you like working out alone or with a buddy, or if you enjoy cardio or weights (or maybe both). You don’t have to pick just one activity - broaden your options.

5.Exercise here, exercise there
Many people use lack of time as an excuse for not working out but there should be no excuses for sacrificing you health.  Being a college student, most of the days are packed between classes, work and studying but there is always time. Just like everything else, you have to schedule time for exercise. Try to make it a goal on the days that you know are a bit easy going than the rest. Even 20-30 minutes a day would be something.

Our bodies are built to move. Exercise is so much more than losing weight and looking good in a bathing suit. It improves your confidence, happiness and overall mental health. In a competing world that is changing every day and is filled with stress, it is so important that students build healthy habits to change their lifestyles while they are in college.

Does Choosing a Pharmacist Matter?


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Today, few people make a careful decision as to what pharmacy they choose to get their medication filled, but more recently, conscious consumers are discovering the importance of choosing a pharmacy that suits their needs. A pharmacist is not simply someone who is trained is distributing medication. They are educated professionals who went to school for years to better understand the effects of various types of medications to best assist you.

MK Education strives to instill the importance of customer service, professionalism and knowledge about medication in the students of our Pharmacy Technician training programs to further assist in giving you the best experience possible.

Check out this great article from U.S. News on how to effectively choose the best pharmacist for you and your family!

How to Choose a Pharmacist (U.S. News)

When your doctor gives you a prescription, odds are you just take it to the pharmacy closest to your house and wait for it to be filled. But by treating your pharmacy like a dry cleaner, just dropping off and picking up, you’re missing an opportunity to really engage with your pharmacist and take an active role in your health.

“A pharmacy is definitely not just a place to drop off a prescription,” says Minh Dang, an assistant dean at the Keck Graduate Institute School of Pharmacy in California. “The vast majority of pharmacy customers don’t want to just press one on their phones and enter in a prescription number. They want easy access to a real person – someone who has the knowledge to help them feel better.”

Want to know the 5 tips? Click here to read more!

Instructor Spotlight: Christy Millett


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MK Education is excited to announce that our July 2014 “Instructor of the Month” is Christy Millett, a veterinary technologist who has been teaching the Veterinary Assistant program at the College of DuPage for six semesters. Before she began teaching this program, Christy has been teaching in the veterinary field since 2006.

“I was absolutely thrilled to hear a Veterinary Assistant program was being offered at the College of DuPage. I was really excited to start teaching it.” Christy absolutely loves teaching the diverse group of students who attend the program every semester. “They come from all walks of life. Some are sure of taking the program, some aren’t. Some learn they found their life’s calling, others found out this is not what they want to do in a much faster and less-costly way than going to veterinary school!”

What Christy really loves about MK Education’s students are that they are so engaged in their work. She says they’re very interested in always learning new things, and she loves seeing them learn a lot from each other.

So what do students and colleagues have to say about Christy’s hard work?

“Christy was a great teacher,” says former student, Nikki Peterkovic, “I enjoyed her teaching style and I learned so much from her. She was very approachable and most of all, I could tell she really cared about the success of her students!” Nikki also says Christy made the class feel like a family which just made the whole experience better and more beneficial.

In their end of class reviews, Christy always gets great responses from her students. They learned so much from her to help them in their externships and jobs. Another student states that Christy was always willing to answer every question on a timely basis, “If she didn’t know the answer, she would find out!”

Bree Abbas, client manager at MK Education, who works with the College of DuPage states, “Christy Millett has shown great dedication to our program and most importantly, to our students. I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback and have seen first-hand how much effort she puts into guiding these students into the veterinary field. Truly, the essence of a professional!”

In the future, Christy plans to continue teaching and would love getting certified in dog therapy. She enjoys reading, writing, hanging out with her dog, dog training and of course - teaching and learning! Other than being a very skilled teacher and a veterinary technologist, Christy says her family and friends state she has Olympic-worthy dog-paddling skills. A perfect fit for a dog lover like herself!

MK Education would like to thank Christy again for her continued hard work and dedication towards the program. It is the efforts of people like Christy who truly make the program a success and bring success and happiness to all the students who pass through it. It is an honor to have Christy as the much deserved, “Instructor of the Month” for July 2014. Feel free to reach out to Christy and congratulate her!

Top 9 Ways to a Better YOU


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Who says you have to wait for a new year to be a new you? Start today, use these nine essential tips to transform into a happier, more productive person!

9. Declutter your life.
You need to get rid of all the things you don't need or that are not good for you in your life. Start with ditching clothes you never wear, don't fit you, or is out of style, and create more space to see the clothes you actually wear. You won't believe what's been hiding underneath the mess all along. Don't stop in the closet. Your kitchen could use a little decluttering as well. Get rid of unhealthy foods. Clean out your cupboards, and get rid of all processed foods like those containing white flours, sugar and unhealthy oils.

Good tip: If it has artificial flavors or harmful chemicals, it belongs in the trash can.

8. Drink like a fish.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating. It’s important to drink at least eight glasses of water every day to keep our bodies working properly. Water keeps you hydrated, eliminates toxins, and helps your insides stay fresh and clean.

7. Complain less, do more.
Studies suggests setting at least three clear goals per year. You should set goals that excite you, that are practical, and something with a clear end point. It helps to write your goals in journal or notepad so you're able to refer back to it, when you need to. This will get you believing that these goals can be a reality. Make the most of your time, complaining about something sometimes may take longer than doing the actual task itself.

6. Schedule a meeting… with yourself.
Set aside just 10 minutes a day for yourself to reflect and make sense of your busy schedule. Taking that time will do wonders in eliminating daily stress and anxiety and will keep you thinking straight thru your other daily tasks. Some people may meditate for five minutes in the morning to start the day off right. Or simply take that additional five minutes to relax before bed. Read a book that inspires you, take a bath, or drink a hot cup of green tea in a secluded area. That usually does the trick.

5. Make working out work for you.
Exercise not only makes you more physically fit and healthier, it also boosts your self confidence, mood, increases energy, and it can even help you improve other tasks throughout the day. Find an activity you like to do and actually want to do. Join the gym or take an exercise class, whatever it is- just get up and get your body moving!

4. Live a little. Love a lot.
It may sound cliché, but love is what makes the world go round. Not money. That wouldn't hurt, but what will hurt more is not being loved. Find ways to get more love in your life. Make time for the people you love such as your family, friends and significant other. Tell someone you love them. This small gesture can make a big difference.

3. Consume your greens.
Even though our moms have engrained this in our minds since we were little children, Vegetables indeed provide you with an abundance of necessary vitamins and minerals that help keep us healthy and energized. Stop making excuses and eat your veggies everyday. Doctors recommend at least five servings a day. And 99% of the time, they are right.

2. Sleep it off.
Most of us need AT LEAST eight hours of sleep a night. That’s a need, not a want. Sleep lowers stress levels and allows your body and brain to re-charge and repair the daily damage you put them through everyday. It also helps mentally and physically succeeding in reaching our goals. To make sure you get enough sleep the best way is to shut off your computers, cell phones, T.V.s, and anything else distracting you from peace at least one hour before bedtime. Prepare your mind to rest, so your mind can prepare your body for the next day’s events.

1. Take a chill pill.
Doctors say to take an omega-3 supplement. Studies prove that these fats found in salmon, flaxseeds and walnuts will give you glowing skin, will help you fight stress, and reduce swelling in the body. Sometimes we may not be in the mood to eat specific foods or simply eat only one type of food. Ask your doctor if you can take supplements to your food intake so you can fill the voids and create a more balanced diet and a better you!


What I learned on a client visit: Tips for class and externships!



Last week, fellow client manager, Bree Abbas, and I had the opportunity to meet with the preceptors at several pharmacy technician externship sites in Providence, Rhode Island and surrounding communities.  Since 2008, MK Education has partnered with Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) to deliver comprehensive pharmacy technician training.  In a state the size of Rhode Island, word gets out when something is a success.  Clearly, pharmacy technician training at CCRI has earned an excellent reputation.

We were able to visit chain drug stores, independent retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, and even an infusion pharmacy.  At each stop, we asked two basic questions, “How are the CCRI students doing?” and, “Based on what you have observed, is there anything you would change about the curriculum?”  And of course, we thanked each of the preceptors who mentor the future pharmacy technicians of greater Providence and provide valuable training to these students.

Over and over again, we received positive feedback. We heard that CCRI students were professional, well-prepared and eager to learn.  They have represented MK Education, CCRI, and themselves very well.

Our biggest compliments came though, when we discovered that CCRI pharmacy technician students were being hired by the preceptors.  One student had been hired by a Walgreens in Warwick, and two students have just been hired by the VA Hospital.  What a great testament to the student(s), CCRI, the instructor, and the curriculum!

For students, it is important to consider the externship as a stepping stone to employment. Externships in reality are long-term job interviews.  Students should treat their preceptor as a potential employer.

Tips for students:

  1. Be punctual
  2. Be ready to learn.
  3. Ask intelligent questions.
  4. Conduct yourself professionally.
  5. Have a positive attitude.
  6. Always be willing to help.
  7. Smile.

PRESS RELEASE: Aeroteck Inc. Hiring Event at for Pharmacy Technicians


Aeroteck Inc. Hiring Event at College of DuPage for MK Education Pharmacy Technician Graduates

[Downers Grove, Ill.] - Aerotek Inc, a national provider of recruiting and staffing services, announced today that it will be holding a hiring event on June 30, 2014 for graduates of MK Education’s Pharmacy Technician training program at College of DuPage. The job openings are for positions in Lisle, Il.

Aerotek will be interviewing 43 candidates interested in the Member Services Representative position from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the College of DuPuge Glen Ellyn Campus: 425 Fawell Blvd, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137, Room SRC 1127.

Job Description:

In this entry level position, individuals may answer pharmacy calls and will utilize the RxCLAIM and INFO Call Tracking systems while assisting pharmacies with the processing of claims and members with basic inquiries about their pharmacy plan benefits. As the Member Services Representative becomes more adept at troubleshooting calls and more familiar with our clients’ procedures and special needs, they will take on and learn additional responsibilities. These tasks may include client-specific projects, departmental tasks, or interdepartmental projects, all of which will require the MSR to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

On-the-Job Requirements:

  • Maintain a clear understanding of each client’s policies, procedures and individual needs.

  • Assist pharmacies and/or clients in resolving a variety of daily processing obstacles – problem solving and the ability to communicate solutions is essential.

  • Communicate effectively and clearly with members regarding questions about their pharmacy plan coverage, co-pays, deductibles, and other aspects of their pharmacy program.

  • Collect accurate information and document unresolved issues.

  • Work with teammates, Account Managers and other resources to solve those issues.

  • Fulfill any client requests that are faxed directly to the Member Services team by clients or members. Maintain records of actions taken including documenting clients’ calls in INFO Call Tracking or RxCLAIM, member prior authorizations, modifications to records within the RxCLAIM system, and call tracking notes regarding pharmacy or member calls received. File and maintain paper records in an organized manner.

  • Perform daily functions as well as other projects and responsibilities assigned. Ability to speak clearly and effectively communicate instructions over the phone.

  • Positive attitude, willingness to learn and improve on a daily basis.

  • Flexible scheduling, including weeknights and weekends.

On site interviews will be held on July 7 and 14, and the first day of work for those hired will be Aug. 11. Compensation for the Member Services Representative position is from $14 to $15 per hour and overtime is available.

About MK Education

MK Education is a premier education consulting firm that partners with colleges and other academic institutions across the U.S. to create high quality health care training courses. Headquartered in the suburbs of Chicago, MK Education has helped thousands of students find meaningful careers for nearly 15 years.


CONTACT: Bree Abbas, Client Manager at or 630.541.3600.

Student Success: David Gupana, Pharmacy Technician Program


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David Gupana, who took the Pharmacy Technician program at the College of DuPage, was using the knowledge learned in this program to help him transition to pharmacy school. MK Education’s Bree Abbas was able to catch up to David to ask a few questions about his success in the program after graduation, and on his amazing achievement of getting accepted into three pharmacy schools in Illinois!

Tell us briefly why you chose the Pharmacy Technician training program at COD.  What made you want to get into pharmacy?
I registered for the Pharmacy Technician training program after applying to pharmacy school during my Fall 2012 semester at COD. I was coming into that academic year right after earning my bachelor’s degree in biology from UIC. My focus was pre-pharmacy, and I had already completed all of the application requirements, but I wanted to make sure pharmacy was the definite career path for me. I never worked as a pharmacy technician before, and I thought the program would provide me great insight into the field, all while preparing me for pharmacy school. I’m currently one semester into pharmacy school and I can definitely say it did!

How did your experience in class help you with applying to pharmacy school?  Tell us where you got accepted!
The class really helped me out during my interviews at pharmacy schools. The majority of applicants already have pharmacy technician experience, so I would say that gives them a slight edge over other applicants without experience. I believe taking this program gave me leverage during the interviews, as it gave me things to talk about. During a group interview at Midwestern University, I was the only applicant in my group who wasn’t a pharmacy technician. Thankfully, I was able to refer to things I learned during the course, so it demonstrated competence and that I was actively learning.

I interviewed at Roosevelt University, Midwestern University, and University of Illinois at Chicago. I was accepted to all three, and ultimately chose to attend UIC.

How did you feel when you first got accepted to pharmacy school?
I first felt an enormous feeling of relief! This was eventually followed by much excitement. I had been aiming to go to the UIC College of Pharmacy since my baccalaureate studies, and when I was finally accepted, it felt like all my efforts truly came to fruition. From time to time, I like reflecting on this moment to remind myself how far I’ve come and how fortunate I am to be in the position I am in today.

What advice can you give any other graduates or students that are taking pharmacy tech training in the hopes of going on to pharmacy school?
Play to your strengths and invest in yourself! One thing I noticed while interviewing at different schools was that they are all looking for a well-rounded applicant. So try to identify facets about yourself that you think would make you stand out. For me, it was my tech savviness. Build upon these facets—you can use them as a foundation for your personal statement or interviews. Furthermore, if you invest in yourself with useful skills, you will better your chances of catching the interest of the interviewer and securing a spot in the school. Bottom line: get creative! All of my interviews were surprisingly relaxed, so the application process is not as rigid as you would think. At the same time, still exude professionalism!

What type of job are you currently seeking?
Currently, I am seeking a part-time pharmacy internship or a part-time pharmacy technician position at any type of pharmacy. In the future, I would like to work as a nuclear pharmacist or a hospital pharmacist, so those settings are of interest to me. I am also looking into the pharmaceutical industry for a future career, so some type of industry position would be a great experience.

What skills do you feel will make you an asset to a pharmacy?
While shadowing in pharmacies, one observation that I have made about technicians and pharmacists is how they are conscientious to patients while balancing their responsibilities inside the pharmacy. In retail, it can be a juggling act at times, and this demandingness may divert you from what is most important: the patient and their well-being. Being able to find that balance between efficiency and empathy for patients is key, and I think the best way to do this is to be attentive and assertive.


For more information about the College of DuPage Pharmacy Technician Training Program, please reach out to Katie Leonardo, Program Coordinator with College of DuPage at 630-942-2176 or  

Seal the Deal! Tips on acing your interview


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So you’ve done your job search, submitted your resume and cover letter and landed an interview. Congratulations on coming this far but remember - you’re not done yet! An good interview is crucial to locking in that new and exciting job offer. Below are essential tips that will help you excel in your interview and get that job!

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Our founding father, the wise old Benjamin Franklin, once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” This 300 year old advice is far from outdated - you MUST thoroughly prepare for any interview! This means practicing key speaking points, researching the company and your position, picking a complete outfit, finding out who will interview you and visiting the location ahead of time so you don’t get lost the day of the interview.

2. Compare and Contrast

Part of preparation is to look at  the job description and comparing it with what is on your resume. Make sure your resume highlights the key components that the company is looking for. This does not mean adding artificial information. Highlight your top four qualities and practice saying them in front of the mirror. Majority of interviewers will ask you to tell them a little bit about yourself.

3. First impression is the last impression

Interviews can be stressful but the worst thing to do is to show that stress or nervousness to your potential employer. Act confident - you know you’re the perfect candidate for this job! It is also important to act professional in your word choice, your posture and you discussions. Whether you land the job or not, your employer will always stick to this first impression.

4. Dress to impress

The majority of healthcare positions require scrubs, but don’t show up to your interview wearing them! Always aim to be clean and professional, show your potential future employer you put effort into your presentation. Statement jewelry, funky socks and crazy hairstyles should be saved for a fun night out - not for your interview. Working in a healthcare environment requires you to be professional and respectful, and your attire should reflect these traits.

5. Do you have any questions?

Yes! At the end of an interview, you will always be asked if you have any questions. The number one mistake many interviewees make is just smile and say no. Always walk into your interview with questions prepared. This shows the company that you are interested and have done research on the company.

So, you don’t have a job because of NO EXPERIENCE??? You’re not the only one… Tips on how to break into the field!


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I hear not only from students but friends and family about how hard it is to find a job with no experience, especially in healthcare! I want to share what recently happened with a family member. My brother, Jacob, has been looking for a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) position for the last 6 months. He has had several interviews but never would get any calls back. I finally took some time to sit down with him to see how I could help.

MK Education offers entry level certificate programs in the healthcare field. So, I knew that I could help him out since he graduated from a similar program that we offer. Jacob told me he has had one-on-one interviews and even group interviews for several positions. He said that employers kept on choosing applicants that had more experience. I recently spoke to a student in California who had the same problem! Has this ever happened to you before!?

I told both my brother and the student that you need to work on “selling yourself” and highlighting what you can offer. Don’t worry about the other applicants. Yes, if they have 10+ years of experience they probably understand the field more and can solve problems a lot quicker but YOU are fresh and new! YOU are moldable into an ideal employee!!! Below are some questions to ask yourself:

Are you applying for the right position?

  • Focus on entry level positions or opportunities with 2-3 years of experience
  • Research the company so you are able to focus your answers around their mission statement

Have you tailored your resume based on your education?

  • Highlight your career training program and what you learned in the classroom

Are you highlighting your externship experience?

  • Yes, if this is the only experience you have use it for what it’s worth!
  • Have a story and experience from your externship ready to share with the interviewer

Have you asked for help?

  • Use any resources that you can! Go to your local library, community college, or education center for resume and interview workshops
  • Use online resources such as YouTube! There are practice interviews on YouTube, even post your own and see the comments and feedback you get.

    I hope the tips above encourage you to sit down and think. My brother finally was hired as a CNA here in the Chicagoland area! He reviewed his interview skills and had to change his answers around when asked questions about his experience. The student in California hasn’t given up hope yet and is taking time to re-evaluate her interviewing process.

    So, take some time and really write down how you would answer “You don’t have any work experience, why should I hire you?”



    Instructor Spotlight: Stephanie Hale


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    Our June 2014 "Instructor of the Month" is Stephanie Hale, who has been teaching Pharmacy Technician programs for MK Education for over five years. She has been an integral part of the continued success of the program at Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois. Over the years, Stephanie has given the students essential tools needed to pass national exams and find employment as certified pharmacy technicians! Congratulations Stephanie, on being chosen as June's "Instructor of the Month!"

    What made you want to become a pharmacy technician?
    When I became a pharmacy technician, I was a full-time college student. I was able to work full time and go to school because of the flexible schedule.  I also had interest in the health care field.

    What do you enjoy most about teaching for MK Education and Lincoln Land Community College?
    I enjoy helping students with their career and seeing them blossom. Danielle Jacob, my teacher’s assistant, was a former student of mine. It is gratifying to see how far she has come from starting in the class, to a lead technician and now teaching herself!

    What do the students enjoy most about taking the class?
    I think gaining drug knowledge the most and learning about what goes on when their prescription is being filled.

    Can you tell me any hobbies/fun facts about you?
    I have a dog named Ruby and love spending time with my five nieces and nephews. I also enjoy playing golf and I’ve had a hole in one!

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