Recap of the Fall 2020 Pathways to Healthcare Panel

On Wednesday, October 28th, the Center for Career Development held the third Pathways to Healthcare panel, featuring four panelists with different careers in healthcare. The panelists were able to answer numerous questions and talk about their experience with navigating the various career paths one could take in the healthcare field.

To get things started, Jessica Buller, a Career Consultant from the Center for Career Development, went over the four occupational paths in healthcare. She explained that the four “buckets” are research, admin and management, service, and clinical. Jessica went on to emphasize that while many people believe that healthcare only involves direct patient care, there are many other options so it’s important to find what fits you best.

To begin the alumni and employer panel discussion, the panelists were asked what some of the occupations they were considering when they graduated, and what made them decide on where they are now. Daniel Lupacchino, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Bodyworker at Integrative Massage Works said that while he knew that along with helping people, he needed to pursue some type of licensing, so he learned how to be more flexible and along the way he could figure out what he did and didn’t like.

The panelists were then asked what advice they had for current undergraduates to help prepare them to be viable candidates. Dontrez Johnson, a Community Health Fellow at Project Horseshoe Farms suggested that students assess themselves, and identify their values and beliefs. From there you can identify what you really love to do and get the first-hand experience required to advance in that career path.  

When asked about what students could do to advance their careers given COVID restrictions, Heather McHugh, who is a Talent Acquisition Sourcing Specialist at Hartford Healthcare mentioned that networking is very important. She explained that by forming connections now, and showing that you are interested and passionate about learning, it will be easier to get opportunities.

Furthermore, the panelists were asked what made them decide to pursue additional education, and Elizabeth Tomasco, Lab Supervisor at Yale University School of Medicine mentioned that while she had a good skill set in genetics, which is her area of interest, she wanted to learn more aspects and found that the best way to go about this was by getting a masters. She also made a point of asking someone if you can help with something in order to learn something.

We touched upon some of the challenges that the panelists have faced, and Dontrez mentioned that being first-gen, and a minority, there are many obstacles you will face, but one way to overcome them is to seek mentorship and find someone who will help you grow. He stressed the idea that you shouldn’t give people with the least amount of information, the most amount of consideration. And that ultimately you have to follow your personal GPS – Goals, Passions, and Superpowers.  

If you didn’t get the chance to attend this event or would like the chance to listen again, feel free to check out the link below to watch a recording of the webinar!

By Anusha Gopinath
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