Graduate Student Profile: Samantha McWilliams

Madison College graduate Samantha McWilliams

Madison College graduate Samantha McWilliams shares what she’s most proud of and how this is just one step in her journey of chasing dreams. McWilliams graduated in 2023 with a technical diploma in the Medical Coding Specialist program.

It’s more than just one thing I am proud of regarding my experience throughout school.

I have learned more than just the course material for my classes; I learned how strong, capable, and confident I am. I learned that I could juggle three jobs, a pandemic, and a full-time course load, all while taking care of my kids, getting a little sleep here and there, and maintaining the highest GPA I've ever had.

Because of my hard work, I was offered membership into Phi Theta Kappa, and it is an honor I am so very proud to carry. I was awarded a scholarship this last term, and I was so floored because someone who had never met me and had no reason to believe in me, did.

I have been through many personal challenges along the way. Through it all, I never lost sight of my education goals, because I knew that no one could ever take away my education. I knew that I would get out so much more than what I put in, and in ways that had yet to present themselves.

I learned that I am worth every penny of this degree, and having it means I can make the world better. It means I can get another degree. It means I can help other people get through school, because I did it. It means I can take care of myself, no matter what challenges life throws my way.

I am scheduled to take my national certification exam this June to become a certified medical coder. I intend to continue my education in this field and hopefully become an inpatient surgical coder within the next ten years. Once I get comfortable there, I'll be heading back to college in a totally different field, Egyptology! Ancient Egypt has always fascinated me, so why not go out and obtain a master’s or a doctorate in this area?

On the more personal side of my future goals, I am a very passionate advocate for and rescuer of animals and have wanted my own farm to make a safe place for them. I have several kids (fur and feathered) and two of them are my beloved horses (both rescues). I started college a few years ago to get a job in a career that I was passionate about, and I wanted to be financially sound enough to buy my dream farm property for my animals. Graduation is just one step closer to getting that farm and having my horses at home.

As I reflect on my time here, it’s all becoming very real to me. I appreciate every single person at Madison College who has helped me get to this moment. Every employee at the bookstore, everybody in financial aid, student life, my INCREDIBLE teachers in EVERY class I took, tech support, Phi Theta Cappa and beyond. I’m grateful for every moment.

- Samantha McWilliams