Two months ago, I was fresh out of college with no real plans. It was a freeing, euphoric feeling. You know, the kind of feeling that makes you think you can do anything you want – go anywhere you want. The feeling that makes you want to move to a new city or to explore Europe. “The world is your oyster,” as they say. Despite the fact that I had those feelings, the irony is that for the first month out of college, I did nothing besides sit at home and worry if I would ever get a job.
I graduated with a degree in English, and if you believe in widespread stereotypes, then you would think that an English degree is equivalent to no degree at all. Sure, an English degree teaches you how to read and write, and probably how to do those things well, but does that really translate to the real world?
Well, here’s what I think. Yes, you learn to read and write, but what you really learn and what really sets you up for success is that you learn how to truly communicate. Effective communication is something that every single business needs to thrive. And that doesn’t even include all the things it teaches you under the surface, such as the ability to critically think or the capacity to deeply analyze the world around you. It even teaches you extreme time management skills (you try reading a 400 page book in two days). While I knew all of these things about my education, I thought the world didn’t so for that first month, I let the stereotypes get to me.
I continued believing such things until one fateful night at a local restaurant where my resume was passed onto Arnie Burchianti, CEO of Celtic Healthcare. I was fortunate enough to receive an interview which lead to my hiring, and after enduring a dreary month of nothingness, I was in position to start an adventure. My adventure would start with me working as the Assistant to Director of Strategic Projects for the CEO. What I didn’t realize when I took this position, however, was the kind of adventure Celtic would provide me with.
Celtic, as a company, is consistently growing and improving. In ten years, the company went from a small house in rural Mars, Pa. to a widespread network of locations across Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, and Maryland. Since 2007, they’ve been ranked in the top of Pittsburgh’s 100 fastest growing companies.
My first two weeks on the job, I went through an orientation process that included visiting the field and seeing for my own eyes what our company really does. When I went on those ride-alongs, I felt like I was on the show, “Undercover Boss,” where the CEO of a large company puts on a disguise and shadows exceptional employees that make his or her company successful. It was really an experience to see what these people do. To see the dedication they have for their patients and their job. To see the amount of extra hours they take out of their day just to make sure a patient and his or her family is receiving what they need.
To do what these people do, you need to have thick skin. You have to be on your game every second of every day. You’re surrounded by sensitive moments and trying times. Awkward family dynamics and resistant mindsets. It’s just the nature of this business, but that makes the people that go into this field all the more amazing. They are fueled by a passion for life. For their own lives, and other’s lives. They believe any life is worth living.
I went to visit the In-Patient Hospice Unit at West Penn Hospital to witness Barb Mesaros and staff, on a particularly crazy day, run from room to room, giving quick, quality care for three hours straight just to make sure that every patient was being accommodated to his or her liking. I was in awe. I mean, I wanted to cut to the end of the episode when they reward these kinds of employees to see what kind of gifts they would receive for their excellent service. What I found really eye opening, though, is that this type of care is something that occurs every day. Not driven by a camera and a TV spot. Not driven by a need for recognition or for a reward. But by a strong personal desire to help people.
That’s what the Celtic culture is all about. If you’ve spoken with a Celtic employee, they’ve probably mentioned this culture one time or another. How I understand it is that it’s all about being there for each other. Building each other up so that every person can reach their full potential. Not just in hospitals, nursing homes, etc., but in the workplace as well. It’s not a cutthroat environment. It’s not about personal success. It’s really about unity. It’s about greasing up every single cog to make sure the Celtic machine is well oiled and running smoothly. That analogy would probably be better suited for a manufacturing company, but you get the picture.
Now, it’s been nearly a month at Celtic, and I just received my first paycheck. I’m still in the transition stage where I’m not completely new but I’m not a pro at everything either. That’s ok. I’m willing to grow and learn and take my time here because from what I can tell, Celtic is the kind of company you do that for. While I didn’t drop everything to travel across the globe or move to a new city, I did embark on a little adventure of my own. I’m thankful that my Celtic adventure is just beginning.