Michele Christensen spent more than a decade in various environment quality roles within the pork industry. With a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a specialization in Environment Science under her belt, she thoroughly enjoyed her work.
However, when she started her family, she no longer wanted to travel as frequently as she had to in her role, so she made the decision to stay home and raise her children for a few years. This timing also coincided with parents and in-laws being diagnosed with illnesses, so she began seriously reconsidering her career options moving forward.
Having enjoyed her undergraduate program, Michele decided to go back to school for medical billing, hoping to enter a field that would give her more flexibility. And that’s when she stumbled upon the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR) role.
“The CTR role was interesting to me because I was drawn to records and organization from my previous job and it would allow me to help others in a way that was suited to me,” Michele shared. “I don’t have the constitution for patient care, so becoming a CTR was the perfect match for my skills and interests.”
Michele had just gotten certified when COVID rocked the world, effectively cutting off her opportunity to gain in-hospital and in-person experience.
“It was frustrating because I wasn’t getting past HR applicant filters since I didn’t have hospital experience,” said Michele. “But then, my mentor tagged me on a Registry Partners’ Facebook post about its internship program and I jumped on it.”
Now, almost a year into her program, Michele is incredibly grateful for the opportunity, as well as the support she has received.
“I was a bit afraid that I would be set loose in the program,” Michele noted. “But this program is so logical; it is set up to help us interns succeed.”
Michele continued: “My manager helped support me through my initial fear and hesitation when I was worried I couldn’t do it. The Registry Partners’ team has been personal from the first touchpoint—a real person responded to me, not an automatic algorithm response—and that care and attention has not wavered throughout the internship.”
On cases where she comes across something new, Michele reminds herself the importance of the work of a CTR.
“I know that someone opened an abstract for my mom, my dad, and my mother-in-law when they were all being treated—and I want to do just as good of a job for someone else. I keep reminding myself how amazing it is to be able to contribute to caring for another person in a way that suits my skills.”
Michele said that being a CTR is a dream because she wanted a career that would see her through retirement and beyond that wasn’t static and would challenge her.
Learn more about our industry-leading Internship Program and application requirements here.