Creating Opportunity

Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2016

When Kelsea Tortorella ’16 arrived at Thomas College, she didn’t know what career path she wanted to pursue.

She had spent a semester at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, but wasn’t happy there.

So, she came back home to Waterville and spent the semester at KVCC. Tortorella knew she needed a degree, but didn’t know what to study.

In the fall of 2014, she started studying business at Thomas College.

One day in her International Business class, her professor Dr. James Libby mentioned health care management as a career idea. Tortorella was interested, and Dr. Libby pushed for her to talk to Dan Booth, Inland Hospital’s Vice President of Operations, and a Thomas grad.  She was nervous to reach out, but when Career Services Diane Anderson gave her Booth’s email address she decided to contact him.

“It was just to go and get his perspective and talk about a career in this field,” she said. “Dan was very encouraging and said I would be super marketable when I graduated with a Thomas degree.”

But Tortorella was eager to get involved in health care immediately.

“Because I wanted to get to work now,” she said. “Dan offered me a temporary position that was available in his department as an administrative assistant in practice administration.”

A year later, Tortorella, 21, has already accepted a full time position at Inland Hospital, while going to school full-time at Thomas.

Her job is to oversee and do a whole range of projects and programs. From helping the lead physician create the call schedule for all family practice providers to being involved with different types of task forces and helping create business plans.

“I love my job,” she said. “And I thank Libby and Diane for their help getting me this job.”

It’s all because of opportunity.

This May, Tortorella will graduate with her Bachelor’s in Management. By taking extra courses each semester and in the summer, she will have completed her degree in three years. After graduating, she will continue to work at her job at the hospital – and she plans to study for her MBA in Health Care Management at Thomas College by taking night classes.

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Tortorella said she enjoyed her time at Thomas because of the flexible program schedules and the helpful professors.

“Whenever I went to somebody for help, if they didn’t know the answer they would find the answer or point me in the right direction.”

Overall, Thomas was what helped her find her calling and gave her opportunity at a start in her career.

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