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.
Current position: Intermediate Healthcare Analyst
Location: Washington, DC
Degree(s): BSPH from Fairbanks, 2020; MPH from George Washington University, 2022
Why did you choose your major/program?
I chose BSPH because of the opportunities in Indianapolis. I chose GW because of the opportunities in DC. Both choices were equally as important!
Do you have any research interests?
Precision medicine in regards to working to achieve health equity.
Briefly describe your career path.
I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare in a non-clinical capacity. Where else to go but IUPUI for Fairbanks?! While in Indianapolis, I worked at Fairbanks SPH as a TA and intern. I also had experiences at the School of Medicine and ISDH.
Since I studied community health, I spent my days learning about how policies have negatively impacted communities and have the great potential to work to achieve health equity. With the same thought process as I did when I applied to undergrad at Fairbanks, I didn’t know of a better place to study health policy than our nation’s capital!
I was hired by my current company as an intern in between my first and second year of my MPH, largely due to the experiences I was able to gain while in Indianapolis. I am currently working as a healthcare analyst for a federally funded research and development center. After working in health policy for 18 months, I’ve transitioned back to my community health roots and work as a contractor for a research project with NIH. I am very thankful for my time at Fairbanks and owe a large portion of my career to the school.
Describe what an average day for you might be like.
I worked with federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) that are enrollment sites for an NIH research program working to achieve health equity. I work with them on a performance management level, monitoring and evaluating their performance regarding their enrollment and retention targets. I work with them to brainstorm how to best engage with their communities and navigate challenges regarding their goals.
What advice would you give your college self about pursuing your current career path or industry?
It is all going to work out. I had no business creating a 5- or 10-year plan when I was 18. Life gets crazy and that’s okay. We’ve got to roll with the punches.
What is a lesson learned at FSPH that you have been able to apply to your career?
Everything I learned about career readiness. I still use the résumé backbone that I worked on with FSPH Career Services. Working with Amelia Hurt truly helped me navigate interviews and how to “pitch” myself to companies and even grad schools.
What is the most significant thing that’s happened to you since graduating?
Moving to DC was a whirlwind (not to mention living here throughout 2020 and the remainder of the pandemic), but it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.
What’s next for you?
I’ve been working on intern recruitment for my department at MITRE, so I will be continuing on channeling my inner OTEAM-leader there. On a more serious note, I plan to stay at MITRE long term and will hopefully return back to stakeholder-informed policy work.
What is your favorite IUPUI/FSPH memory?
My favorite memory would be making lifelong friends through my public health classes. Being surrounded by like-minded folks during the trying time that was 2017-2020 was crucial for my well-being. I’m so happy I was able to go through college with such great peers and professors.
Speaking of great professors, I work with the same research project as Fairbanks professor alum Dr. Sula Hood! I witnessed her give an excellent presentation on HBCUs involvement in the research program and working to achieve health equity. It was such a cool moment to relive memories of her class and everything I learned from her.