Lien Thong’s experience with the Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows program shows how connections matter in obtaining employment in health care. “I have friends who apply and are not able to connect to a job,” said Lien, currently a Minneapolis College Student working as a Nursing Station Technician at the University of Minnesota Medical Center’s (UMMC) Cardiology unit. “C3 Fellows helped me connect with hiring managers and human resources and get an interview.”
Lien encourages students interested in a career at a health care institution to take advantage of the C3 Fellows program. “I really appreciate what C3 Fellows provides us,” said Lien. “For me, it has been an amazing experience.”
Central Corridor College (C3) Fellows is an initiative of the Central Corridor Anchor Partnership that connects health care students attending college in Minneapolis or Saint Paul with part-time employment in their field of study. College partners include Augsburg University, Metropolitan State University, St. Catherine University, and University of St. Thomas. Employer partners Fairview Health Services, Hennepin Health, and Regions Hospital/Health Partners round out the list of participating C3 Fellows health care program partners.
Lien recently came to the United States, moving to Minnesota and enrolling in nursing school at Minneapolis College in summer 2015. She learned about the C3 Fellows program from an in-class presentation, and followed up by participating in a resume building seminar. There, she learned how to build a resume and tailor it to different employers and engaged in valuable interview experience.
“I wasn’t that confident before - it was too new to me,” said Lien of the resume and interview preparation process. “C3 Fellows helped me with how to answer questions and boosted my confidence in my interview skills.” Lien commented that the C3 Fellows interview preparation session helped her understand what to expect from the interview process and how to make a great first impression.
Lien commented that the C3 Fellows interview preparation session helped her understand what to expect from the interview process and how to make a great first impression.
After preparing her resume and honing her interview skills, the C3 Fellows program director at the time, Clyde Brotherson, connected Lien with Shawn Vang - current C3 Fellows health care program director - of Fairview Health Services. Shortly after making this connection, Lien was hired by Fairview’s Ebenezer Care Center in July 2018.
Working Towards an RN
After about 8 months in her role at Ebenezer, a recruiter contacted Lien through the C3 Fellows program and helped her connect to her current position with UMMC’s cardiology unit. Lien recently finished all of her training and is very excited to be working independently. Her goal is to become a registered nurse once she graduates from Minneapolis College, but for now she is very happy in her present role. “I love it - the interaction with the patients,” said Lien of her position. “I can help them. I know they go through a lot, and I can just ease their life a little bit by making their bed look nice and smiling a little bit - by helping them be positive. Actually, they make my day.”
Lien is grateful to Shawn Vang, her primary contact for the professional connections she has made through the C3 Fellows program.
“Besides providing a resume seminar and connecting us to the recruiter managers, he also helps to check and give feedback on my resume, gives me tips on the interview process, and keeps checking in to see if I have a good experience at my workplace,” said Lien. “I love his professionalism and willingness to help students.”