Belkesa Adem knew that she was graduating a semester early, but she didn’t know that she had earned cum laude honors. “I had no idea I would graduate with the gold rope,” said Adem.
Adem’s success story is impressive. She held two jobs while pursuing her degree in nursing. She worked as a pharmacy technician at Publix as well as a nurse extern at Kennesaw Hospital. Time management is a lesson she learned from her busy schedule.
“Somehow I made it through, and it shows my growth,” she said. “At the pharmacy, I learned to help answer people’s questions. As a nurse extern, I learned the most by seeing patients and how to manage them as they leave.”
Adem’s dedication to her work has reaped the rewards. She excelled in clinical rotations at several Atlanta-area hospitals. Now, Adem has secured a job upon graduation. She will work as a cardiac nurse at Northside Hospital’s Atlanta campus.
Cardiac medical surgery is a passion for Adem. She witnessed an open heart surgery during her practicum and said that seeing the nurses and doctors working together was inspirational. Furthermore, she adds that hypertension and heart failure are significant health problems in Atlanta.
“To see people day by day progress, and know that I’m doing a greater good—that’s my motivation,” says Adem. “If I can save one life it’s a magical thing to do.”
Adem is also motivated by her parents, who moved from Ethiopia to Atlanta before she was born. They stressed to her the importance of education to succeed in life. Adem is among the first generation in her family to graduate from college. She chose to attend Georgia State for a variety of reasons.
“I loved the big buildings and city lights,” she said. “Everything is close, the commute is easy and there’s a little bit of everything in the middle of the city.”
She says that her high school education didn’t prepare her for the rigors of college, but that her professors at Georgia State imbued in her the courage and confidence to keep going.
“My professors helped me feel like ‘I can do this’ and accomplish my goals.”
Adem likes to have fun and be goofy, but she is serious about education and work. She has a mature attitude about her chosen profession as a nurse and aims to help as many people as she can.
“If you’re not in it for caring for the people, this is not the career for you.”