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Elly Woods

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What was your Undergrad Institution and Major?

Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa


What piqued your interest to study health communication?

I have always been very interested in health and wellness, and I wanted a degree that would help me transition into the healthcare communications field. I also am interested in nutrition and preventative medicine, but since joining the program I’ve learned of so many more avenues I’d like to explore as well.


Why is earning your MS at Northwestern important to you?

The quality of professors and resources at Northwestern is unmatched. Everyone I’ve spoken to so far is so intelligent and so passionate about improving the healthcare system, which is very inspiring to see.


What are your career goals?

I would love to get into healthcare marketing, project management, or performance improvement. I’m just starting my career, so I’m open to a lot of different pathways. Still trying to figure out what I enjoy most and what’s right for me! Anywhere that I can work to improve healthcare sounds great to me.


Any tips on balancing school, work, and life?

Plan out your weeks in advance and stick to it! And be sure to get a head start on longer assignments when you can. I also like to try and have one day a week, usually Sunday, where I don’t do any work and just relax. It doesn’t always happen, but it’s great when it does!


What tips/resources have you used in virtual learning?

I admit I don’t have a very long attention span, so being in long Zoom classes can be hard for me. Taking notes and keeping my hands busy can help, but other than that, lots and lots of coffee.


What is your favorite part of the program so far?

I find the How Interaction Works class so interesting. As someone who has studied communication in the past, I think it’s super interesting to learn specifically how it works in the healthcare setting.


What are you looking forward to (in the program or near future)?

I’m really looking forward to interning next year! I know it’s not for a while, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, but I’m excited to get some experience in healthcare and to get to learn from people in positions I might want to be in someday.


How do you practice self-care while in the program?

If I’m not feeling like doing reading or homework, I reschedule. It can be tiring to work all day, then have to read scientific articles at night. Sometimes my brain just doesn’t work, and it’s better for me to wait and do it the next day than to overexert myself.