TSTC student graduates with honors while working full time

(HARLINGEN, Texas) – After a perfect first semester at Texas State Technical College, Jianina Sells knew that she could finish the remainder of her years as a Health Information Technology student on the same note. Not only was the Raymondville native able to graduate as a TSTC Board of Regents honor graduate, but she was also able to do it while maintaining a full-time job.

Was it your goal to graduate as a Board of Regents scholar?

When I started college, I never thought that I would graduate with honors. It wasn’t really a goal of mine until the end of my first semester, when I saw that I finished with straight A’s. I’ve always been determined to succeed at anything I set my mind to, so once I decided I wanted to graduate with a 4.0 GPA, I gave it my all and refused to let myself fail.

Were there any challenges you faced while on your journey to a 4.0 GPA?

I was employed full time when I was a student. Working 40 hours a week and being enrolled in college full time was difficult to say the least. I studied during any breaks I had and from the time I got home up until I went to sleep. Balancing my personal life, work and school was challenging.

Why did you decide to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Health Information Technology?

I have been a pharmacy technician since 2013. So I knew if I was going to change my career, I still wanted to stay in health care. I would hear about health information technology programs on the radio, and one day I decided to look into it. I’d heard great things about the online Health Information Technology program that TSTC offers, so I decided to apply.

Who at TSTC had a great impact on you?

My Health Information Technology instructors Katrina Stotts, Randa Weeks and Joni Wallace were always there for me to answer questions I had or clear up anything I was confused about. There were times I would call Ms. Stotts or Ms. Wallace multiple times a day, and they always answered. I love these instructors. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have made it.

What advice would you give to incoming TSTC students who also hope to finish college as Board of Regents honor graduates?

Study hard, but make sure to take breaks. Take notes, and if you think you might not understand, read the chapter again. Make flash cards, and reach out to your instructors. Talk to them about your assignments, and don’t be afraid to speak up.