Monday, June 8, 2020

Mother, Grandmother, Author, and Graduate – Meet Tamara Hawkins

This story was originally published on Peirce College's website found here.

In 2012, Tamara Hawkins decided to take her supervisor’s advice on earning her bachelor’s degree and started to look into programs in the Philadelphia area. She discovered a college she once knew as a two-year business college had evolved over time and had just what she was looking for.

That is when Tamara found Peirce College.

“I stumbled across Peirce’s bachelor’s programs and saw the evolution of Peirce over the years. I remember Peirce when it was just a two-year school. To see it grow so much really stood out to me,” explained Tamara. “So, I decided to visit campus and talk to an admissions representative.”

Her visit to campus was eye-opening and allowed for her to understand just how long it would take to earn her degree and how much it would cost.

“When I met with my admissions representative, she told me Peirce would take all of my credits from the Community College of Philadelphia. Having an associate degree from CCP allowed me to save time and money at Peirce because it would take less than 2 years to complete my bachelor’s degree,” said Tamara. “Additionally, Peirce College was the only school that would clearly identify what classes I needed to take and map out my exact route to graduation. After seeing all of that, I said, ‘let’s do it!’”

Tamara enrolled in Peirce’s Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program and found herself graduating in no time. In 2014, Tamara completed her goal and turned her focus back to her career.

Working in health care for over 20 years inspired Tamara to stay in contact with Peirce and take a few Medical Coding classes here and there to continue expanding her knowledge to bring back to her line of work.

In 2016, though, Tamara heard that Peirce College had developed a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration program and this caught her attention. “After my bachelor’s degree was complete, I swore I was done with degrees. Then I heard about Peirce’s MSHCA program and it aligned with my career and interests, so I reached out once again to learn more.”

After gaining a better understanding of the classes she would be taking this second time around, Tamara enrolled and found herself immersed in the content more than she ever thought possible. “In the MSHCA program, my eyes were opened to so many things I never knew before. I gained a deeper understanding of insurance, health care, technology, HIPAA, and more. This program aligned with my interests and career path perfectly.”

In 2018, during her time in the program, Tamara landed a new position within the health care field. “I originally wanted to be a nurse, but when I decided against that career path, I always knew I wanted to be in the health care field. During my master’s program, I started as a Senior Biller at the Temple Dental School. My master’s has helped me significantly in this position because it has taught me the lingo you really can’t learn anywhere else.”

In December 2019, Tamara finished her master’s degree and is now a proud member of the Class of 2020. As Tamara reflected back on her time at Peirce, she said, “My Peirce College experience was phenomenal. I love learning and being challenged and I got all that and more from Peirce. I made so many friends who have now become family. Also, I was able to do so much even as an adult learner. There were workshops, events, trips, etc. for me to take part in as a student, which made my experience that much better. Peirce just offers so much, which made me want to stay as long as possible.”

Tamara is the proud mother of two and grandmother of three. She said, “School can be overwhelming at times as a parent, grandparent, employee, churchgoer, and student. My advice is to try and find balance, which includes time for yourself. I found time for schoolwork, my family, my church, while also scheduling a little downtime here and there to give myself a break. If you stay organized, you’ll be able to achieve this balance and accomplish your goals.”

In addition to all that Tamara has already accomplished, she has also written and self-published two books, within the past year, with a third one coming out soon for children. She said, “Peirce College and all my professors have given me the motivation to believe I can do whatever I put my mind to do, and then go do it successfully!”

Congratulations to Tamara on all her successes! We look forward to applauding her at Peirce’s Virtual Commencement Ceremony on June 23rd.