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Nataliya Taneva

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What was your Undergrad Institution and Major?

I received my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The University of Illinois at Chicago.

What piqued your interest to study health communication?

I am currently working in Healthcare Administration Management and I was interested to gain academic knowledge in healthcare in addition to my experience. The health communication program offers versatile coursework that is suitable for growing in many healthcare careers paths.

Why is earning your MS at Northwestern important to you?

I trust that choosing a credible university like Northwestern will provide me with the desired knowledge, skills, tools, networking power, and access to opportunities that are necessary to be successful within the healthcare field.

What are your career goals?

My immediate career goals include gaining a better understanding on how to identify and solve issues for my current and future clients. I would also like to educate myself on ways to create a better healthcare experience for the patients under my current clients. I trust that getting the education and training I need to achieve these goals will result in new opportunities for advancement in my organization and future endeavors.  I would like to gain the experience needed to develop the associated skills within that niche which would, ideally, help me achieve my long-term goals. As I look forward to my long-term career goals, I’d like to assume a leadership position in my area of expertise. I would like to be a mentor and leader within the organization and a valuable resource to my future team members.

Any tips on balancing school, work, and life?

Time management is extremely important. Plan your schedule and focus on prioritizing a weekly to-do list. Break bigger projects into small tasks and set deadlines for yourself. Take care of your emotional and physical well being by getting enough sleep, set some time for entertainment, exercise, and a hobby.

What resources have you used in virtual learning?

It’s great that I can go back to the recorded lectures and reference the information as much as needed. Setting up a quiet and comfortable spot in your house dedicated for lectures and studying helps you get in the mindset of learning. Maintain an ongoing relationship with your classmates, even if it’s remote. That helps you stay motivated and engaged with the program and gives you a better overall experience.

What is your favorite part of the program so far?

Everyone has been very positive and engaged. I love that all of us come from different professional backgrounds and contribute to the discussions with fresh and different perspectives. The information shared during the lectures is relevant and thought-provoking.

What are you looking forward to in the near future?

I am looking forward to successfully graduating from the program and pursuing the opportunity to expand my knowledge in a variety of healthcare plans other than managed care. I plan to explore positions within healthcare insurance organizations and/or consulting. While in the program, I am looking forward to getting exposed to numerous fields within the healthcare world. My plan is to use that time to study my interests within the field and become an expert in a niche that I truly enjoy.

Is there any additional advice or information that you would like to share?

10 weeks of lectures go by extremely fast, focus on one week at a time, do your best, stay engaged and motivated! You will gain tons of knowledge that will bring you the confidence to pursue your next career steps within the healthcare field.  The program is challenging but with the right attitude and self-discipline it is completely manageable.

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

I keep track of my accomplishments to stay motivated and take the well-deserved break when needed without feeling guilty. I try to find time for exercise, practice mindful eating and stive for a good amount of sleep. I dedicate time for family and friends, as well as hobbies outside of my course work.

How has communication changed for you since starting the program?

I am more aware of the communication skills I am using when engaging in a personal or professional conversation. I am familiar with specific things to pay attention to and practice if I want my message to be clear and respectful. I am excited to implement all the new communication skills in my everyday life.