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Stefanie McCormack

Stefanie McCormack

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Undergraduate Institution:  Florida State University

Undergrad Major: Psychology: Neuroscience

Type of Work: Researcher at Lurie Children’s

Why did you choose the MS Health Communication Program at Northwestern University?
It was a combination of a few things. First, I was intrigued that Northwestern offered such a unique degree and on Saturdays! It was such a value-add that I could both work and go back to school full-time. Next, I had been working on a side-project at Lurie Children’s where we created a short, animated video to better communicate medical research to children and families. I loved working on this project and it made me realize the importance of health literacy and health communication. This experience also opened my mind to how we can design more innovative and creative solutions in healthcare. Finally, a big turning point in my decision-making process was when I started looking at more mid-level jobs, grants, and fellowships and I noticed that I would often meet all the criteria, except one, I did not have an advanced degree. And this made me ever more determined to fully explore and dive-into the MSHC program.

What are your career goals?
Through this degree, I hope to make an impact in the Chicago healthcare scene. I am interested in bringing healthcare leaders together to design solutions for our ever-increasingly complex U.S. healthcare system. I am constantly intrigued with healthcare innovation, community engagement, and patient advocacy and I hope to align more long-term career goals through this program.

What is your favorite part of the program so far?
Class on Saturdays! I always look forward to class and learning from my classmates. The course work is fascinating in and of itself and that and combined with the added layers of our class discussions, the Northwestern MSHC program takes learning to the next level. In fact, the conversations that we have in class about current healthcare issues are not only insightful and solution oriented, the knowledge that I am able to immediately integrate into my work at Lurie Childrens. 

Any tips on balancing school, work, and life?
It’s a bit of a juggling act, but very doable and rewarding. My insider tip is to get to know your classmates and utilize the program’s offerings from career coaching and alumni networks to leadership opportunities and internship connections – the MSHC has a tremendous amount of resources to help you succeed.

Is there any additional advice or information that you would share?
When I was considering the MSHC program, I heard about the valuable relationships that you will forge with your fellow classmates with an emphasis on how much you will learn from each other. Well, it’s true! Everyone in our program is excited about healthcare communication and comes from such a different background that if you want to expand your network and become a future leader in healthcare yourself, look no further. This program will be the best decision you make and will help you define your career aspirations.