Alumni Perspective with Brian Juhl

Where did you work prior to enrolling at Clarkson College?

After graduating high school in 1994, I attended Iowa State University for a half of a semester and decided it wasn't for me, so I discontinued my involvement and went to work full-time for a construction company. My first job involved putting up steel buildings for about two years. I then worked for another construction company for approximately three years doing concrete work. I then moved on to another company in Des Moines, Iowa, also concrete work, and remained there for about two years before joining the union working as a concrete finisher. I continued to work at this job for roughly one year before starting to work for a boar stud (hog confinement).

At what point in your career did you begin to consider changing your profession?

I worked for the hog confinement for about five years and knew I wanted something more in regards to a long-term career, which led to me taking an aptitude test.

How did you decide on radiologic technology (RT)?

Radiologic technology was one of the professions that came up on my aptitude test results, so I completed a job shadow and thought it would be something to pursue. Before applying to Clarkson College, I took classes at Iowa Western Community College and received an Associate's degree in Biological Sciences.

Did you have any reservations about returning to school?

I did. In fact, I quit after the first semester at Clarkson College because I was trying to work, go to school, pay bills and find time for family, which simply wore me out. I went back to work at the hog confinement for about one year until I decided to contact Shelli Weddum [RT and Medical Imaging Assistant Director] about re-enrolling in school and what the process would be. I soon received a call from Ellen Collins [RT and Medical Imaging Director], stating that Clarkson College would allow me to begin taking classes from where I had left off. I quit my job and decided to dedicate my attention to school and completing the RT program.

Why did you choose to attend Clarkson College?

I chose Clarkson College over the other schools I researched because it allowed me to do all of my classwork in the first year and then complete my clinical rotations my second year in Atlantic, Iowa, which is close to home.

How did your education at Clarkson College set you up for success?

After completing my clinical rotations, I was hired at Cass County Memorial Hospital upon graduation in 2013. I later received my Bachelor's degree in Medical Imaging in 2016. I am currently certified in X-Ray, CT and MRI and am the lead technologist in the MRI department, which means I am involved in each modality on a weekly basis. One of my greatest career accomplishments so far has been assisting with starting a new MRI suite at the hospital.

Does your current career path fill any voids that your former one did not?

This career is something I can do for the rest of my working life. I also enjoy helping people when they are most vulnerable and feel as if I am a crucial part of the recovery process.

Who or what helped make your career change possible?

I would like to give a special thanks to the staff at Clarkson College, as well as Ellen Collins for believing in me and helping me reach my goals as an RT and beyond. I also extend a huge thanks to my family for all of their patience and help.