In our Alumni Career Spotlight series, you will meet some of our alumni and learn about the important work they are doing to create a healthier nation and world.
Employer: IU School of Medicine Department of Emergency Medicine
Current position: Project Manager
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Degree(s): MPH, IUPUI, 2015
Why did you choose your major/program?
I wanted to be able to help in my community. The MPH program promised to educate me in ways of doing so in a strategic and meaningful way.
Do you have any research interests?
No specific research interests, but my concentrations at work involve communications, outreach, diversity, equity, and inclusion, project planning, and people managing.
Briefly describe your career path.
I started out as an evaluator with the State Department of Health where I managed a large CDC funded grant. I then moved onto a special projects coordinator with the WIC department where I managed federal stipulations and education projects.
I have been with the IU School of Medicine department of emergency medicine over the past five years helping out with a range of projects from communication through the pandemic, assisting with patient experience, and helping develop their strategic plan.
Describe what an average day for you might be like.
An average day involves checking on the status of, and facilitating the progress of the various projects I am helping to manage. I will either review my current project plans to assess where we are and what needs to come next, or I will be in the works of developing a new project plan. Either way, I am meeting with my team and stakeholder to brainstorm, troubleshoot any issues, or celebrate any successes that may occur.
What advice would you give your college self about pursuing your current career path or industry?
I was surprised and yet not surprised that my MPH degree led easily into project management. With my concentration, we were taught to assess and thoughtfully create different community initiatives, and projects are just initiatives with a different name. Don’t be deterred by thinking you need another certification (PMP for example) before you look into a job like this. If you are organized and passionate about helping and getting something done, you’ll be great.
What is a lesson learned at FSPH that you have been able to apply to your career?
Developing great relationships with your stakeholders are key.
What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
1) The pandemic. The emergency department was slammed and I was in charge of creating a way to streamline vital communication to our providers. It was a great, if not stressful learning opportunity.
2) I had my son a year after I had my daughter and the transition into motherhood and juggling work/life balance has been significant.
What’s next for you?
I’m hoping to continue melding my experience of project management and knack of managing people well.
What is your favorite IUPUI/FSPH memory?
I went to Guatemala for one of my classes and the experience was amazing!