JulieHannanCogdillJulie Hannan Cogdill knew she wanted to pursue a biology major but didn’t know what to do with her degree. An advisor at the University of North Texas in Denton mentioned Cytotechnology.

“It really sounded perfect for me, and I was excited that I would be able to help diagnose cancer,” said Cogdill. “All the laboratory classes I took in college affirmed that I had made the right decision to become a cytotechnologist.”

The Waxahachie, Texas girl had to step out of her comfort zone to find a Cytotechnology school which meant going out of state. UAB’s reputation in the medical field and the Cytology master’s program sealed the deal.

“My professors sufficiently prepared me for the workforce and the changing atmosphere of Cytoloy,” said Cogdill. “It was classes and curriculum at UAB that enabled me to take a position that was half-cytology, half-molecular and eventually work my way up to being in charge of our molecular department. “

Cogdill is a molecular laboratory general supervisor and CLIA compliance officer at PathAdvantage Associated in Fort Worth, Texas.  It’s been a long journey from the first time she began looking for a job in 2007. She quickly learned then that many lab positions are not posted and it’s who you know.

“After I graduated, I called every lab in the area I could find, introduced myself and asked if I could come and look at their lab,” said Cogdill. “Only one lab called to let me visit. That lab also gave me my first job as a Cytotechnologist. Try to make yourself and your unique skills known, either by giving the labs a call or by attending national meetings.”

After landing her first job at Ameripath North Texas, a co-worker gave her a glowing recommendation to PathAdvantage, where his wife worked.