Monday, July 13, 2015

OUT IN FRONT - Nelida "Nellie" Otero '14

Healthcare student Nelida "Nellie" Otero recently celebrated earning a promotion at Health Partners, her employer for the last five years.  Her new job as a Medicare Part D Coordinator will find her promoting policies to update staff about changes in the Medicare Pharmacy regulations.  These new responsibilities, largely done behind-the-scenes in coordination with management, provide an added dimension to what had been a very front-line, service oriented professional medical career. Her last position with Health Partners was as a transitional care coordinator, assisting in the delivery of post-hospital care for members, and she has also worked as an EMT, emergency room attendant, and managed care coordinator.

Her desire to get out in front of the rapid changes in the health care profession made her realize degree attainment would accelerate her path to success.  That’s when she found Peirce. She completed her A.S. in Health Information/Medical Records Technology/Technician in 2014, and after taking a short break to give birth to her second daughter, she is back in the classroom pursuing her bachelor's degree. 
Reggie Waller and Nellie Otero

In 2013, while studying for her associate degree, Nellie interviewed to be a participant in the Student Mentoring program, looking for a spark which would help strengthen her will to succeed in the classroom. During the interview, members of the Mentoring Committee knew they had the perfect alumni mentor match for Nellie when she spoke of her love of running: triathlete Reggie Waller '04, now President of the Peirce College Alumni Association. Reggie, a relationship manager with Vanguard, not only bonded with Nellie over their shared athletic pursuits, but also became a career coach for her when she was contemplating her most recent job change. 

Nellie said, "I remember speaking with Reggie and telling him I love Health Partners - it's a great place to work - but I was looking for something else. He told me about another mentee of his and how he was promoted - and I remember him telling me I was next. When I got the interview I told him right away and he helped me through the process. That really gave me the courage and confidence to get through the interviews."

As Nellie continues on her path to career success, she has a whole cheering section among her Peirce family, especially her mentor and coach Reggie Waller. "I'm glad I join Peirce's mentor program because I wouldn't have met him otherwise", Nellie reflected with gratitude. "He became my mentor and a friend." He also has become inspiration of another sort: Nellie is running her first marathon in October.