Berkeley Today Stories
Berkeley College Helps U.S. Navy Veteran Start New Career Path in Health Services
Alba A. Pagan served in the U.S. Navy before arriving at Berkeley College, having been deployed once to Asia and once to Bahrain, off the eastern coastline of Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf. She mostly worked in a Navy Engineering unit, a primarily male-dominated environment, as an electrician at sea. “I always felt like I had to work harder to prove myself. However, I had strong leadership in my division, giving me more confidence about my efforts,” Ms. Pagan said.
A resident of Teaneck, NJ, Ms. Pagan left the Navy with an honorable discharge after four years. Rather than continue with electrical work, she decided to transition into health services, looking for a career she could feel passionate about while helping others. She was further inspired to go back to school by her son, Jeremiah, age 3. “I wanted to show him how important education is,” she said.
Ms. Pagan began taking Health Services Administration courses at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan, having sought an educational institution that provided experienced professors and strong support to military veterans. Berkeley College has a dedicated Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, having been ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report for three consecutive years.
During her time at Berkeley College, Ms. Pagan has served as an outreach specialist for the Bergen County Division of Veterans Services in Hackensack, giving her the opportunity to help fellow veterans. She currently interns as an administrative assistant at the Jersey City office of Vanguard Medical Group, and continues to actively participate in events throughout Berkeley College. She has also been a Berkeley College Orientation Leader, helping incoming students become better acquainted with the College.
After she graduates with an A.A.S. in September 2016, Ms. Pagan will transition into a full-time position at Vanguard Medical Group. In addition to finding a new career path, Ms. Pagan also met Jose Pagan at Berkeley College, a fellow student and veteran of the U.S. Army whom she recently married.