Riverland grad stands out from the crowd

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 24, 2006

By Kari Lucin, staff writer

Egan Mattson stands out a little bit from the rest of the people in the Riverland College medical administrative assistant program he graduated from this year. He’s a bit younger than many of them, and he’s also the only male.

&8220;There’s guys in it too, but not this year,&8221; Mattson said.

Around 15 women studied to become medical administrative assistants at Riverland this year, learning how to do office and business work in a medical setting.

&8220;Once in a while they pick on me,&8221; Mattson said. &8220;It’s all in fun, I get picked on quite a bit by four moms. I sit in the back of the room with three ladies and my teacher is my fourth mom. They keep me going.&8221;

His classmates helped make sure Mattson got his work done and on graduation night, he celebrated with his &8220;moms.&8221;

&8220;They watched over me and kept pushing me to do everything like moms would do,&8221; Mattson said. &8220;It was nice.&8221;

Mattson graduated from Albert Lea High School in 2003 and started at Riverland that fall. Originally he wanted to become a nurse, but he found he enjoyed the business aspects of medicine more.

&8220;I don’t know where I’ll end up, but I’ll see where it takes me,&8221; Mattson said.

Like many college students, he has been living with his parents while going to school. He’s also working two jobs, one at the hospital as a dietitian and one at Palleton Pallets in Lake Mills.

Finding time to do homework has been difficult, but thanks in part to Mattson’s &8220;moms&8221; he’s managed just fine. In his spare time he plays hockey in a men’s league and this summer he will be playing league softball.

Teachers at Riverland helped all of the medical administrative assistant graduates find internships for the summer. Mattson will be working with Planned Parenthood in Albert Lea and Owatonna Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

&8220;It’s all been fun. Going to classes has been fun. Learning all the medical stuff, that’s what I like most about the course,&8221; Mattson said.

It surprised him that there weren’t many men in the medical administrative assistant field.

&8220;I don’t think a lot of guys really know about it,&8221; Mattson said. &8220;I think it’s going to get more popular, and not just in Albert Lea.&8221;