Current Position: Application Analyst, Mass General Brigham Enterprise
Previous University: Stonehill College
Undergraduate Degree: Healthcare Administration and Criminology
Q: You took on an ambitious double major as an undergraduate. Why did you choose these two specific fields?
A: I love both healthcare and law. I couldn't choose, so I decided to study both—and found that they overlap in many ways. Healthcare is one of the most heavily regulated industries, and fraud is a real issue. My interest in the law is more policy-related; I don't actually want to be a lawyer, as they often deal with the aftermath of things that have already happened, whereas I want to be on the forefront of implementing healthcare change.
Q: What aspect of change interests you most?
A: As a woman of color, and an immigrant, I know firsthand that healthcare decisions often don't take everyone into account. I want to be a voice that speaks up for how decisions affect marginalized communities. Boston is a very diverse community, but in my experience working at big hospitals here, I'm often the only Black woman in the room. That becomes a huge issue for equity, particularly as we're dealing with COVID, which has disproportionately affected Black and Brown people.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue a graduate certificate at Northeastern?
A: I was looking at Northeastern because my little brother recently graduated from here, and I stumbled on the certificate program while I was doing my research. It was exactly what I wanted. The curriculum for the Healthcare Administration and Policy certificate actually reflected the interests that led me to my double major in the first place. And being able to start right away—and then potentially apply those credits toward a future master's degree—sold me. I could study at a more flexible pace now, and have valuable credits down the road.
Q: How have your studies benefited you so far?
A: The first class I took was health informatics—how technology affects healthcare. That immediately sparked my interest, and it actually convinced me to apply for my current position as an application analyst for Mass General Brigham Enterprise. My primary role is to support study teams at MGBE-affiliated hospitals—I perform clinical trial intake tasks, manage communications channels between our research analysts and our hospitals, manage payment applications for study participants, and grant study team access to the support applications we use.
Q: What advice would you give someone considering this program?
A: I really underestimated the depth of the certificate coursework, and how much it would help me explore different career avenues in healthcare. I've been taking classes focused on strategic mergers and management within the context of my industry, and I'm fascinated by all of it. My advice to students just starting the program is not to come in looking at your career through one lens. Be open to the professors, and the guest speakers, and the coursework. There are opportunities out there you may not have even considered.
Q: How do you plan to use your certificate to advance your career?
A: I'm planning to apply to the Part-Time MBA program at Northeastern focusing on healthcare management, and, I hope, using my certificate credits as a foundation. My goal is to complete my master's degree within five years and then seek a position that offers me a platform for making healthcare more inclusive and less fragmented. COVID has shown us where the cracks in the system are, who is most impacted by that, and what the long-term effects of inequities are. I want to amplify the voices of the unheard, help improve population health, and assist needy communities in any way I can. Just a few weeks ago, with MGBE, I helped in a large-scale effort to make health equity kits, which included more than 2.8 million protective masks and 332,000 bars of soap and bottles of hand sanitizer, to distribute to towns and community groups in need. I'm proud to have been part of a team making a difference, and I hope that opportunity only grows as I continue in my career.