Ronald McKinnon did not have the typical upbringing that most people have. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany while his father was stationed overseas for the United States Air Force. Since then he has relocated nearly a dozen times. This gave Ronald the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and cultures, and develop excellent people skills from a very young age.
At the age of 16, during summer break, Ronald began working in a vehicle maintenance shop on McGuire Air Force Base. He quickly learned about the importance and rewards of hard work. Around that same time, his father, while working full-time, began running several small business ventures. Ronald’s time helping his father made a major impact on the direction his life would go after high school. Prior to enrolling at AIMS, most of Ronald’s work history was through self-employment. He primarily designed, built, and optimized websites.
Eventually Ronald decided to shift gears and pursue a career in healthcare. Healthcare had always been a top career choice for him. He saw it as a field with continual learning, growth, and stability. Being able to make a difference in the lives of others on a daily basis was a major factor in his decision. Of all the career paths in healthcare, he was drawn to cardiovascular technology. He knew heart disease was becoming more and more prevalent and saw this as a career with lots of growth potential.
Ronald learned about the importance of education from his parents, who were both college graduates. This made the decision to go back to school an easy one. Despite having no prior healthcare experience or knowledge, he enrolled in the Cardiovascular Technologist program at AIMS. He found the assistance and support provided by AIMS faculty and staff to be a major factor in his success.
“I had a great experience at AIMS! I entered without prior medical knowledge, but was eager to learn.”
His strong performance during the classroom education and hands-on training really prepared him for the clinical internship at the end of the program. Ronald was placed in a large hospital where he was able to learn advanced scanning methods and gain experience using various sonography machines. He was also able to attend staff meetings and information sessions which really opened his eyes to the full scope of the career.
Ronald graduated from the cardiovascular technologist program in January 2016. Almost immediately after graduating from the program at AIMS, he was offered a job from his clinical internship site. He is now currently employed as an echocardiography technologist. He is still eager to learn and expand his skill set. In fact, he plans on furthering his education in the future and eventually becoming a physician assistant.