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Yuna Yu

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What was your Undergrad Institution and Major?
I graduated from Boston University in May 2020 with a major in Public Relations and a minor in Psychology.

What piqued your interest to study health communication?
During my senior year in college, I worked in a healthcare team in one of my public relations internships. My client was a former doctor and a present CEO of his online digital care platform. I thought the doctor’s voices would be well heard, but I was wrong. There was a thick wall between the public and him as a healthcare professional. I was obsessed with the communication problem and started seeking solutions, and that was when I found the MSHC program.

Why is earning your MS at Northwestern important to you?
I pursued the program because it offers everything that I have ever wanted to learn since witnessing the communication barrier between the doctor and the public. Concerning the future, I wholeheartedly regard MSHC as a cornerstone in my career and hope to leverage the knowledge from class into professional work.

What are your career goals?

After graduating from MSHC, I want to enter a fast-paced and purpose-driven healthcare public relations agency to horizontally navigate the healthcare business. But ultimately, no matter where I am, I want to become an empathetic communicator to connect health professionals to the world.

Any tips on balancing school, work, and life?
I believe knowing our priority and preparing a planner/to-do-list will help us figure everything out. However, if at any time you’re stressed out, just simply grab a donut, ice cream, or chocolate shake for a sweet treat! We do things better when we feel better.

What resources have you used in virtual learning?

Throughout the courses, I have been using the writing center to get help on grammar and sentence structure of my papers. I also met with one of the NU librarians, aiming to learn how to conduct efficient research.

When learning from home, I have been using a height-adjustable desk that allows me to both sit and stand when studying. Constantly changing studying posture can prevent lower back pain and boost efficiency.

What is your favorite part of the program so far?
I love being a recent college graduate in the program. Since the majority of my classmates are well-experienced professionals in the healthcare industry, hearing their discussions and opinions offered me opportunities to learn beyond the MSHC coursework.

Furthermore, as the only international student for the fall semester, I especially love how the program uniquely crafted a course to help international students quickly adapt to the US culture and Northwestern life.

What are you looking forward to in the near future?
I hope this program can help me transfer smoothly from my undergraduate study to a formal job. I hope to leverage the program learnings in the real world, offering practical solutions for healthcare communication problems.

Is there any additional advice or information that you would like to share?
If you’ve read all the way here, I believe you would be truly intrigued by the program. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like any information on MSHC’s courses and student experience, especially if you’re also an international student or a recent college graduate. I am sincerely glad to offer help and wholeheartedly wish you the best of luck with your application!

How do you practice self-care while in the program?
Although virtual learning has plenty of advantages such as saving commute time, sitting at the same place every day could still lead to fatigue. I usually go outside before classes to get some fresh air and grab a cup of iced coffee or tea (I prefer hot ones during the winter though).

How has health communication changed for you since starting the program?
My views are definitely broadened. I realized health communication exists not only between the doctors and the public, but also among pharmacists, nurses, business, government and more. It is way more complex than I thought, and I look forward to learning more about it.