How do I want to Help? Navigating Healthcare Career Options

Doctor, nurse, physical therapist. While often top of mind for college applicants interested in health and medicine, there are in fact many more career options. A new Beloit course helps students both explore and prepare for them.

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, “Beloit’s curriculum provides the foundation needed for the post-graduation studies leading to careers in healthcare. But experience has told us that students need more than coursework to sift through possibilities. That’s why we created AMP 200: Exploring and Preparing for Careers in Health and Healing.”

Designed for sophomores through seniors, AMP 200 is 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.

Course students continue to be advised by a faculty member in their major. However, AMP 200 adds value, for example, by introducing the students to a variety of healthcare practitioners, many of whom are Beloit College alumni. An additional benefit: exchanging ideas with each other.

Says Sasha (Alexandra) Murphy’24, “I’ve learned a lot about possible careers from Sasha Murphy'24 in the chemistry lab Sasha Murphy’24 in the chemistry labboth the alumni who visited the class and the other students. 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. “Hearing what the visitors wish they’d done differently as undergraduates Is helping me make better-informed decisions about my remaining time at Beloit.”

Beyond the very real benefits of introducing students to professionals, Prof. 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 when it comes to requesting for letters of recommendation. This gives students a leg up when they apply to the professional programs that are their next step after graduating from Beloit.”

Alumni have been glad to contribute. Says Jenna Nordin’20, “I jumped at the chance [to visit the class], 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 at the University of Wisconsin.

Jenna Nordin'20 (center) meets with aspiring pharmacists Jade Mosquera'23 and Lauryn Volza'25 following a visit to AMP 200. Jenna Nordin’20 (center) meets with aspiring pharmacists Jade Mosquera’23 and Lauryn Volza’25 following a visit to AMP 200.Nordin’s visit was particularly inspiring to AMP 200 students Jade Mosquera’23 and Lauryn Volza’25. Since completing the course, Jade has been admitted to a pharmacy program, white Lauren is participating in Beloit’s dual-degree pharmacy option with the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“HPAC faculty mentors helped me bridge my interests in hard science and medicine when I was at Beloit,” Nordin says. “Now that I am 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.”

By: Elizabeth Brewer
May 12, 2023

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