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Emelia Patterson

Emelia Patterson

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Undergraduate Institution:  University of Missouri

Undergrad Major: International Strategic Communication

Type of Work: Pharmaceutical Marketing/Advertising

Why did you choose the MS Health Communication Program at Northwestern University?
As a part of my job, I design direct-to-consumer marketing materials geared towards improving doctor-patient discussions and overall treatment outcomes for patients diagnosed with a chronic illness. With my undergraduate background in strategic communication and a healthcare-focused career path ahead, the MS Health Communication Program at Northwestern offered a unique, well-rounded, and relevant approach to understanding health communication – something applicable to my everyday life, both personally and in the workplace.

What are your career goals?
My goals are to become a better health communicator, and within my career, optimize future messaging design to empower and improve patient care.

What is your favorite part of the program so far?
The people! Everyone brings such a diverse perspective to the program, and are strong in so many different disciplines. From the moment the program began, I knew my classmates and the NU faculty were going to make the experience a special one.

Any tips on balancing school, work, and life?
It’s a challenge, but it’s definitely possible. Take advantage of a good planner, and use the Canvas calendar – it’s amazing. Be realistic in that in may not be possible to stick to the exact same social, gym, or daily routine that you’re used to, but you can make it happen, and it’ll all be worth it. Be kind to yourself when you feel overwhelmed, but know you have the support of your classmates, friends, and family to keep pushing through.

Is there any additional advice or information that you would share?
You get out of the program what you put in. To experience it to the fullest, don’t be afraid to participate in class, ask questions, seek out more information about class topics, engage with your classmates, and get to know your professors. Everyone is invested in your success, and the Northwestern resources available to you as a student are fantastic. Finally, be sure to take it all in – time flies.