Mark Gunthrope: From Factory Worker to Healthcare Professional

Medical Assistant Wheeling Hospital GurneyMark Gunthrope drove by the Career Quest Learning Centers Kalamazoo campus every day on his way to work at the factory. One day, he decided to stop in.  He had no idea what it was or why he stopped that day, but he says that visit turned into one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

“I knew I didn’t want to work in a factory for the rest of my life,” said Mark, “but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do.”

Mark did know that he had always liked helping people. So, with guidance from the admissions staff at Career Quest Learning Centers, he enrolled in the Medical Assistant program. Now, he’s working as a patient care technician at DaVita Dialysis and loving his job.

“The patients are like my best friends,” said Mark. “I learn all about their family and friends, and they learn all about mine. It’s a great job, and I have it because of school. Career Quest helped me out so much –it’s unbelievable.”

According to Mark, not only was he well-trained to care for patients at Career Quest Learning Centers, his externship at DaVita was the reason he was hired. The people at DaVita saw how capable and committed Mark was while he was still in his program and decided they wanted to hire him.

“The school sets you up for success”, said Mark. “They really prepared me.”

Since he finished the Medical Assistant Program, Mark has gone on to become a Certified Hemodialysis Technologist, and he says that within the next four years he wants to work his way up to a facility administrator position. Mark is glad to be out of the factory and to be working in a profession where he gets to help others. He says he would tell everyone that Career Quest Learning Centers “is definitely worth it.”

“Just find something you love to do,” said Mark “and go do it.”

That’s just what Mark is doing, as he cares for patients at DaVita Dialysis. And he got his training at Career Quest Learning Centers. If you’d like to find rewarding work in healthcare, check out our career training programs. In addition to our medical assistant program, we offer certificate programs in pharmacy technology, acute care patient technology, certified nurse aid, medical administrative assistant and an associate degree program in medical office administration.



“Before Career Quest, I had a job but I just wasn’t going anywhere. I was scared but I decided to give it a shot.  Now I’m the Secretary of the Student Council and ready to graduate!”


“I would definitely recommend CQ to anyone who is looking to change career paths or looking to come back to school.”