MC Spotlight: JayLesa Weatherington
Metropolitan College alum, JayLesa Weatherington, graduated from North Hardin High School in Radcliff, KY. Weatherington has always been a compassionate person and she knew earlier on that she wanted a career in the healthcare field helping others. After high school graduation, Weatherington went on to work third shift as a part-time package handler at UPS Worldport in Louisville, KY to qualify for the company’s tuition benefit.
In December 2014, Weatherington graduated debt-free from the University of Louisville with a degree in exercise science through the Metropolitan College program. Afterwards, Weatherington began employment at Norton Hospital Frazier Rehabilitation Center in Louisville, KY working with patients with spinal cord and brain injuries. “Working in this field really humbled me as a person. It's amazing how people can go through such traumatic incidents and still have a positive outlook on life,” said Weatherington.
Weatherington went on to complete professional development training and coursework through the Council for Accreditation in Occupational Hearing Conservation and earned the distinction of Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationist.
This past year, Weatherington started a new position at Fit for Work, LLC in Louisville, KY working as a Medical Testing Specialist. When asked about share the most rewarding part of her position, Weatherington replied:
“I absolutely love the work that I do. I mainly deal with employment testing for post offer candidates. Every day brings new challenges and experiences. I meet people from all walks of life, all are very eager to start working in production. What brings me most joy from the work that I do is the joy of the candidates when they start working in their new positions.”
Indeed, earning a college degree is valuable and oftentimes a necessary catalyst to opening doors of opportunities and having a prosperous career. With that being said, Weatherington admits that working third shift at UPS to pay for college had its challenges – the biggest challenge at times being lack of sleep.
Weatherington commented, “Some days I think to myself, ‘How did you do it?’” In short, Weatherington quickly learned the importance of time management by focusing attention on school and work during the weekdays and reserving personal and social time for weekends. Most importantly, she set a slep schedule to ensure she recieved adequate sleep. “Through it all, [working at UPS] made me a stronger person. I learned how to be disciplined in all areas of my life, and I earned my degree and graduated debt-free.”
Weatherington attributes her career success to her degree attainment through the Metropolitan College program. “My degree is the reason I'm in [my] current position,” said Weatherington. In the next five years, Weatherington plans to finish her master’s degree in occupational therapy and continue to flourish in her career.
Weatherington’s advice to current and prospective Metropolitan College participants: “Keep pushing and working hard because it will all pay off in the long run. Stay focused and never give up. The struggle is only temporary.”
Learn more about JayLesa Weatherington’s Metropolitan College experience and career advice in this Q&A.
Q: What professional skills and qualities do you find to be most valuable in the workplace and why?
Professionalism! I cannot stress how important it is to be professional in the workplace. I do employment testing, so I've literally seen and heard it all. I don't care if you're interviewing for a job at McDonald's or a Fortune 500 company. Always be on your “A” game. Being professional to me means being on time, dressing appropriately, and being courteous. Additionally, I love when people show their personalities and their abilities, but delivery is always key.
Q: What is the best career advice that you ever received?
You must learn how to fail in order to succeed.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment in life so far?
My biggest accomplishment so far was graduating college. My sister and I are the first grandchildren to graduate college on my mother's side of the family. I call this my greatest accomplishment because I was able to share it with my grandmother. My sister and I are the first grandchildren to receive a college degree. Everything I do is for my grandmother, she's my motivation and a driving force behind all the choices that I make. She's one of the reasons why I'm pursuing a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy.
Q: How have mentors impacted your professional development? Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
My grandmother is my biggest influence that I have in my life. She's the reason why I do what I do, she's my number one cheerleader. She's encourages me to do my very best. Without her guidance and prayers, I probably wouldn't be where I am today.
Q: What is a fun/interesting fact about yourself?
I'm such a boring person.... my bedtime is literally 9:00 pm at the latest but my favorite thing to do is go to Barre3 classes, it literally changed my life. I also like binge watching shows on Netflix.
Q: Favorite Quote/ Life Motto:
“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” - Maya Angelou
Metropolitan College is looking for current and former Metropolitan College participants to spotlight! If you know of someone, please contact Renecia Griffie Davis, Student Development Counselor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-213-4521.
“This journey has not been easy … but hard work and perseverance pay off,” says Smith who has already earned nearly $30,000 in tuition benefits, book reimbursements and academic bonuses.
"Thanks to UPS, I can go to school and graduate debt free!"