What are you currently doing?
I am in a six month residency program for emergency room nursing at Christiana Hospital. In this Level I trauma center we work with an interdisciplinary team to meet a whole spectrum of healthcare needs - drug overdoses, asthma attacks, alcohol withdrawal, strokes, heart attacks, gunshot wounds, motor vehicle crashes, etc. To keep my finger on the pulse of the quickly changing healthcare landscape, I am also a teaching assistant for Wharton professors Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and Dr. Christian Terwiesch, facilitating the development and delivery of their new online courses on the Affordable Care Act and healthcare operations.
How did NHCM prepare you for your current role or for life after graduation?
Thanks to nursing’s hands-on, detail-oriented, patient-centered mindset and Wharton’s team-based, data-driven, big-picture perspective, I’ve learned to frame systemic problems not as complaints but as potential solutions. I have a head start on explaining business concepts to healthcare providers - and conversely medical concepts to non-clinicians. I can access an unparalleled network of trailblazers and leaders across a wide range of fields. NHCM’s unique skill set has opened up so many doors, and I’m taking my time to explore each one.
On a more personal level, the program has cultivated in me a strong respect for others, a strong work ethic, and a strong appreciation for all that I have been given the opportunity to learn and all that I have yet to learn. That, more than anything, has prepared me well for the field of emergency/trauma medicine where my patients come from all walks of life, with all sorts of needs, and seemingly all at once - they keep me on my toes!
What was your favorite aspect of the NHCM program?
I believe NHCM has made me an extrovert. I love the people that it’s put me in touch with - investors, doctors, CEOs, scholars, and patients from different continents, with different socioeconomic statuses, values, and beliefs. I also appreciate the confidence I have that we must have some shared experience to talk about, that we are peers on a very human level. I have first-hand experience with not only births and deaths, but also with business plan competitions and organizing conference calls across five separate time zones. There’s always something interesting about some aspect of the human condition that connects us. I’ve made life-long friends through this program.
What were you involved in as a student at Penn?
I was the legislative coordinator for SNAP (Student Nurses at Penn), a leader for my Christian fellowship, and the art events coordinator for the Penn Art Club. As a Joseph Wharton Scholar, Benjamin Franklin Scholar, and Nursing Undergraduate Honors Scholar, I worked as a research assistant for the Wharton Management department and received a Social Impact Research Experience grant to study Hong Kong’s efforts to meet the health needs of an aging population. I was fortunate to be able to spend my summers abroad, teaching English in China, delivering babies in Kenya, and comparing health systems in India - inspiring me to pursue a global health minor. As the Director of Administrative Affairs of the international nonprofit organization Global China Connection, I developed an interest in understanding organizational behavior, and so am pursuing an Operations, Information, and Decision concentration in addition to the Healthcare Management concentration.
What do you think you’ll be doing five years from now?
Once I’ve sufficiently developed my nursing skills and developed a greater understanding of healthcare delivery constraints on a global level, I hope to identify the means by which I can be of help to an area of greater need - which may involve anything from transitioning to business school to working internationally as a travel nurse, or anything in between.