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Doctor, nurse, surgeon. While these jobs are often top of mind for college applicants interested in health and medicine, there are in fact many more options. A new Beloit course helps students both explore and prepare for a multitude of possible healthcare careers.
A rudimentary internet search for careers in healthcare will link to 40 or more possibilities, not to mention the many career possibilities in related fields.
How can busy undergraduates taking challenging courses make sense of the many options?
Fortunately, Beloit College actively facilitates healthcare-related career exploration through its Health Professions Advisory Committee (HPAC) and related Health and Healing Channel.
Says Kristin Labby, HPAC chair and associate professor of chemistry, “Our curriculum provides the foundation needed for the post-graduation studies that will enable students to pursue careers in healthcare. But experience has told us that coursework alone is insufficient career preparation. That’s why we created AMP 200: Exploring and Preparing for Careers in Health and Healing.”
Designed for sophomores through seniors, AMP 200 is a course offered within Beloit College’s Advanced Mentoring Program. Taught for the first time in spring 2022,the course is already proving effective in advancing HPAC’s goal of helping students identify and prepare their individual pathways into healthcare careers.
While students continue to work with faculty advisors in their majors, the course enables them to interact with a variety of healthcare practitioner visitors, many of whom are Beloit College alumni. An added benefit: exchanging ideas with each other.
Says Sasha Murphy’24, “I’ve learned a lot about possible careers from both the alumni visitors and the other students in the class. Plus, I’ve gained a much better understanding of how different healthcare positions interact with each other.”
Meanwhile, Ama Ameyaw’25 reports that she feels more confident in both the academic preparation she is receiving at Beloit and her career choice. “The visitors’ reflections on what they wish they’d done differently as undergraduates are helping me make better-informed decisions about my remaining time at Beloit.”
Beyond the tangible benefits of introducing students to professionals, Kristin Labby notes that the course covers a number of fundamentals key to entering healthcare careers. “The students get invaluable practice preparing resumes and personal statements and also guidance concerning requests for letters of recommendation. These really matter when students apply to the professional programs that are their next step toward careers after graduating from Beloit.”
The experience of alumni visiting the class has also been positive. Says Jenna Nordin’20, “I jumped at the chance, as I benefited greatly from the advising I received at Beloit.” That advising helped lead her to pursue a PharmD and a masters in public health University of Wisconsin.
AMP 200 students Jade Mosquera’23 and Lauryn Volza’25 were particularly thrilled to meet Nordin to learn about her experiences. Jade has since been admitted to a pharmacy program, white Lauryn is participating in Beloit’s dual-degree pharmacy program with the Medical College of Wisconsin.
“HPAC faculty mentors helped me bridge my interests in hard science and medicine when I was at Beloit,” Jenna says. “Now as an alumna, visiting AMP 200 was rewarding. It gave me a chance to both interact with current Beloit College students and impart knowledge to them from what I’ve learned as a pharmacy and public health student. I look forward to following the career choices and accomplishments of this next cohort of health professionals.”