Denisonians in Health Professions: Dermatology

Denisonians in health professions: dermatology - oscar-hoffman-265x300.png image #0Oscar Hoffman ’13

Current job: Clinic Manager, Medical & Surgical Dermatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Professional School attended: Cornell University, graduated in 2017

Fun Fact:
I sail competitively in my free time.

Describe the process you went through to select your career path: what impacted your decision?
I completed my first administrative internship after my junior year at Denison with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Johns Hopkins. It was during this internship that I discovered the complexities of running an outpatient specialty practice within a large medical institution such as Johns Hopkins. I learned that I could still help patients when they are at their most vulnerable by being a successful administrator. A good administrator allows medical staff to focus fully on caring for the patient while we manage the regulatory, financial and human capital activities.

What are your favorite aspects of your profession?
Being able to still have an impact even though I am not providing patient care. I have already been told by several patients in my new role that the staff I manage are what made their experiences with our clinic positive. It is not just the medicine that helps patients heal, but the environment of care and kindness that everyone from my front desk staff to our most famous physicians provide.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Relationships with medical staff. The constant challenge that a non-clinical staff member such as myself encounters is supporting the clinical staff the best you can. Since I am not clinical, I cannot help out some of my staff if one of my Medical Assistants calls out, as much as I want to. We all want to do what we can for the patients, but we are limited by what we are allowed to do.

Describe what a “typical day” looks like for you.
I don’t have one! Every day is different. My clinic sees upwards of 400 patients a week, but issues can range wildly. Just last week, the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene made a surprise appearance to the Outpatient Clinics. My entire morning calendar went out the window as I implemented “Just in Time” regulatory checklists and processes. The next minute I could have a patient complaint, provider concern, machine malfunction, staff concern, etc. No day is the same which is one of the main reasons why I love my job.

What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your field?
There are many avenues that one can use to enter healthcare. I specifically am an “operations guy,” but I have friends that work solely in finance, HR, and regulatory. Hours can be long because of the nature of the industry. I am expected to work regardless of weather, civil disruptions and most holidays.

Denisonians in Health Professions: Dentistry

Denisonians in health professions: dentistry - david-hickey-300x268.png image #0David Hickey ’08

Current Role: Associate Dentist at Daily Dental & Braces Bar

Professional School attended: Ohio State University College of Dentistry, graduated in 2015

Fun Fact:
I like to travel and I’ve been to 15 countries so far.

Describe the process you went through to select your career path: what impacted your decision?

I wanted to go to medical school originally, but after shadowing in the hospital and asking physicians if they would do it all over again, most said they would not.  They missed too many significant events in their family’s lives.  They were burdened by insurance.  Most thought the doctor-patient relationship had eroded over the years.

Then, when I chipped a tooth I went to get it fixed by my dentist and I just started thinking about how cool it was that he put my tooth back together.  I realized dentistry is a great alternative to medicine because you use a lot of different science and health knowledge, while also working with your hands and building trust with people.  Someday, I want to own a practice and this is much easier to do in dentistry than in medicine.

What are your favorite aspects of your profession?

Building relationships with patients, getting patients out of pain, and rebuilding their smiles

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

When you first start out after dental school, the procedures are difficult.  With practice and repetition, the procedures become easier to do.  But most challenging is working with people who hate the dentist or who have a negative attitude about you.  Almost every day someone tells you they don’t really want to be in your chair because they hate the dentist.  Although I don’t take this personally, after a while it still kind of drags on you.

Describe what a “typical day” looks like for you.

I can see 20 patients a day sometimes, for general dentistry as well as orthodontics (we do braces in my office).  Everybody is different in the dental chair, so it is hard to describe a typical day.  Generally, dental practice has a lot of different disciplines and you can decide what procedures you like to do, and refer the rest to specialists.  So there is great variety that makes each day interesting.  We do work long hours and occasional weekends at my job, but also get some weekdays off in return.

What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your field?

Ask your family dentist questions about the field and if you can shadow.  They were all in this situation before and they would be glad to help you!

Denisonians in Health Professions: Nutritionist

Denisonians in health professions: nutritionist - kathy-mcneely-300x300.png image #0Kathy McNeely ’82

Role: Nutritionist

Graduate Schools attended:
Harvard Divinity School and Maryland University of Integrative Health      

Fun Fact: While in Divinity School at Harvard, I worked at the Wine and Cheese Cask in Somerville, MA. I was one of the first taste testers for Sam Adams Lager when Jim Koch was introducing his product by going to individual stores and getting owners and employees to sit down and have a beer with him. In the following year, fellow Denisonian, Peter Brooke (1983), worked at an advertising firm in Boston and helped develop one of Sam Adams’ first ad campaigns with the slogan “I’m a revolting beer drinker.” I like to think that we played a small part in the local brewing industry – which has really taken off since then.    

Describe the process you went through to select your career path: what impacted your decision?
I found my way to the nutrition field after years of work in the area of adult education and counseling. I initially trained at Harvard Divinity School with some emphasis on education and counseling. I went on to work overseas accompanying people in war torn regions of Nicaragua and Guatemala. My work in these two countries was focused on adult education and being a healing presence offering support and counsel for people as they grieved the loss of loved ones. I also served as a chaplain at Williams College, and as an advocate for international peace and social justice issues focused mainly on access to medicines, health services and to healthy, culturally appropriate foods. It was my work on food security that peaked my interest in nutrition. I began taking core classes in nutrition and eventually completed my MS in nutrition in 2013. I have been practicing nutrition in a public health setting since 2014, and now specialize in helping people implement lifestyle changes to better manage chronic health conditions, especially diabetes, hypertension and obesity.

What are your favorite aspects of your profession?
I love helping people identify simple steps they can take to improve their health. Much of my work involves helping people develop problem solving skills.  

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Lack of resources. I find that many people are not food secure. Their incomes do not stretch to meet their needs mainly because they have no transportation and are limited to shopping at corner stores that do not carry fresh vegetables and fruits. These stores feature lots of very expensive junk foods and snack foods. I see people struggle with doing the best with what they have, but still finding it hard to make good choices.

Describe what a typical day looks like for you.       
I see 6-8 patients per day – spending 30-45 minutes with each one. We discuss the patient’s health goals (to lose weight, better manage blood sugar, or lower blood pressure); we review foods eaten in the past 24 hours, what kind of exercise the person got, what medications they are taking and when, we discuss aspects of the diet that can be improved and we come up with an action plan – usually 2-3 simple steps the person can take in the coming weeks to improve health outcomes.

What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your field?
The science of nutrition is very new. Every day new studies come out saying “eat this,” or “avoid eating that.” It’s confusing for the average person and challenging to keep up with the latest studies. My advice would be to find what works for you, and not simply believe that what you found is true for you will work for everyone. Nutrition counseling is much more a process of accompanying someone on their health journey – and food is a big part of that journey. It’s about helping a person see that food, diet and lifestyle habits all contribute to the bigger picture of what makes that person who he or she is. 

Denisonians in Health Professions: Clinical Research Assistant

Denisonians in health professions: clinical research assistant - lauren-jay-260x300.png image #0Lauren Jay ’14

Role: Clinical Research Assistant

Fun Fact: I’ve been to “Castaway” island in Fiji and met Wilson on the beach

Describe the process you went through to select your career path: what impacted your decision?
I wanted to get some experience in the field prior to applying to graduate school. I unfortunately did not get the opportunity to do research while I was at Denison, so I wanted to see if research was a potential career for me.

What are your favorite aspects of your profession?
I love meeting and consenting patients for our various research studies. I also enjoy learning new lab techniques and becoming more knowledgeable about current pharmaceutical trials. Engaging with doctors and other health care team members also has its perks. I’ve met a lot of great people while working for The Ohio State College of Medicine.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The most challenging aspect of my work is meeting all the dynamic needs of pharmaceutical trials. Our lab is involved in a few trials that require very detailed documents, logs, and reports. I did not realize the amount of work, organization, and communication that goes into being the main clinical lab. There are very high expectations and you cannot afford to make mistakes. Thus, being proactive and staying organized can help mitigate some of the stresses that come with this job.

Describe what a typical day looks like for you.
A typical day involves running a clinical enzyme assay, gathering and processing samples, and helping with daily operations of the lab. When I first started my job, I used to consent patients for our research studies. Since then, I have strengthened my lab skills and am now one of the lead technicians. 

What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your field?
Reach out to alumni in the field. Do not be afraid that you’re “bothering them”, because most alumni are willing to help! If they can’t help get you a position, they may be able to point you in the right direction and/or even put you in contact with some of their colleagues. Networking is KEY. Use the power of the Denison alumni network to help you reach your next step in life.

Denisonians in Health Professions: Exercise Physiology

Denisonians in health professions: exercise physiology - lindsey-nock-300x289.png image #0Lindsey Nock ’14

Role: Exercise Physiologist at UC Health

Professional School: Miami University, graduated in 2016

Describe the process you went through to select your career path: what impacted your decision?
I started Denison as a Chemistry major, wanting to go to pharmacy school but quickly decided chemistry was not for me. I switched to a Biology major my sophomore year, still wanting a career somewhere in the medical field. I shadowed several professions during my junior year, searching for the right fit. I found that perfect fit in Cardiac Rehab as an Exercise Physiologist.

What are your favorite aspects of your profession?
The reason I love going to work every day is because I know I am positively influencing the lives of so many people. My profession is so incredibly rewarding because I help cardiac and pulmonary patients improve their health through exercise and education about living a healthy lifestyle. I physically see improvement in these patients as they make their way through rehab. I am very passionate about living a healthy life by eating well and exercising. I also love knowing how exercise positively affects the body, so getting to share that knowledge with individuals every day is a lot of fun.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Sometimes we get patients who are not willing to change. Trying to help patients who are stubborn or who really don’t have the desire to improve their poor habits is very frustrating. However, I’ve learned that sometimes it just takes more time for some people to want to change aspects of their lifestyle and that I might just have to try a little harder and be patient because usually these patients will improve in some way by the end of rehab.

Describe what a “typical day” looks like for you.
When I come to work, I first set up a few things for the day. By 8:00, patients start coming in for their cardiac rehab classes. We have 7 classes three days a week with up to 12 patients per class. During each class, the staff and I rotate jobs. The jobs include sitting at the EKG monitor and telling each patient what levels on the cardio equipment they should be on, taking blood pressures, and doing individual treatment plans with patients. We also teach various education classes every Wednesday. Tuesdays and Thursdays are for pulmonary rehab which is very similar to cardiac rehab, but patients aren’t hooked up to an EKG monitor. On those days, we also do orientations with new patients where we talk about their health history and document the evaluation prior to starting their rehab program.

What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your field?
I recommend shadowing an Exercise Physiologist in cardiac rehab first to see if that career path is right for you, do an internship during the summer to get some experience, get a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology after Denison, and then work on getting an ACSM certification.

CandidCareer – Career Video Platform

We want to tell you about one of our new online resources here at the Knowlton Center. In addition to enjoying our one-on-one career appointments, peer advisors, and career labs, we now have available a YouTube-esque video platform that allows students to explore career paths through informational interviews with professionals.

The platform is CandidCareer. Access the platform here at!

CandidCareer has a library of career-specific informational interviews with industry professionals. This is an excellent way to explore the field that you hope to enter. You are able to learn information about jobs directly from those who work them, and there are a lot of jobs represented too! CandidCareer has hundreds of videos available.

In addition to job specific interviews, CandidCareer also has a library of videos to help with anything career related. Need tips on writing a cover letter? Done. Need tips on creating a great LinkedIn profile? Done. Even if you aren’t looking for anything specific exploring through CandidCareer is an excellent source to peruse as you start gearing down for interviews and careers after Denison.

So if you want an edge on your job search and to learn reliable information about the process at any time, check out Candid Career!

Career Ready Bootcamp!

The week before the semester started the Knowlton Center brought 18 sophomore and junior students from back to campus to participate in a 3-day intensive career-readiness program. The students came from all over Denison representing different majors and extracurricular activities all with one goal: to prepare for internships and careers after Denison.

The Students all came together and participated in several preparation workshops with our career coaches. These workshops focused on writing resumes and cover letters, networking, LinkedIn Profiles, and interviewing. Additionally we were all able to participate in a voice training session with Voice Coach from Available Light Theatre, Acacia Duncan. Acacia demonstrated techniques to add confidence to your voice and covered the dos and don’ts of presenting yourself vocally.

The program also included a day business trip to Columbus. There the students toured companies from several different industries and were able to gain a perspective of professional life in Columbus, a hub of employment for recent Denison grads. The trip culminated with a networking event with several Denison alumni. The students were able to practice their networking skills and make professional connections with Denison alumni.

The last day of the program gave the students a chance to apply everything they learned in a series of mock interviews. They were given a chance to perfect their resumes and choose from a list of sample internships to interview for with our career coaches and other professionals around the college. This allowed the students to interview and receive valuable feedback. Later the students participated in a Designing Your Life Workshop, a program offered by the Knowlton Center in conjunction with the Red Fram Lab developed from the strategies of Design Thinking out of Stanford. The workshop allows you to plan several versions of your future and what steps you need to take and when, and is intended to keep your mind open to innovation.

This “Career Ready Bootcamp” is an idea that the Knowlton Center has been thinking of for a while now but was finally able to bring it to fruition this year. The program was a success and we hope to bring it to Denison annually so we can do what we do best: career preparation!

Denisonians in Health Professions: Nursing

A path to health professions: nursing - beverly-fleuter-200x300.png image #0Beverly Fleuter ’13 (Johnson)

Role: Registered Nurse

Professional Schools attended: Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (2014); Arizona State University

Fun Fact: I have been to all 50 states!

Describe the process you went through to select your career path: what impacted your decision?
Many of my family, friends, and mentors thought I would be a good nurse and that I would enjoy the professional development involved. I did A LOT of background research and preparation to decide how and when to go to nursing school. I knew I was doing the right thing when I enjoyed my prerequisites and was excited about the nursing curriculum.

What are your favorite aspects of your profession?
I get to work face to face with patients and families every day. I also get to participate in the science of nursing by doing research. Nursing has dozens of trajectories that all lead to very different lifestyles and a variety of specialties. I could decide to go into nursing informatics and help engineer the programming we use in the hospital or I could go work in the OR as a scrub nurse. There are so many options.  

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Remembering self-care. Nursing is a physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging job, especially at the bedside. Fortunately, many organizations provide support with this aspect.

Describe what a typical day looks like for you.       
I work a 12 hour shift, three days a week. I get to work at 7AM and leave around 7:30PM. I get a report on how my patients did overnight and then implement treatments for them throughout the day in conjunction with the medical team, social workers, and physical therapy.

What advice would you give a student interested in pursuing your field?
Just like there are many career trajectories, there are also many different educational trajectories. Diploma programs, Bachelors, Masters, Doctoral (Clinical and Research), and Certificates. Talk to someone who has pursued nursing as a “second degree” or a second career to give you guidance on what will be the most cost effective degree for your goals!

Wisr: Networking Made Easy

Get Wisr.

The Knowlton Center is proud to unveil our newest resource to help make networking made easy. Wisr is a tool that allows you to search for Denison alumni in your field and organize networking conversations. Click this link to get started with Wisr!

You start off by connecting through your LinkdIn account (so make sure your account is up to date!). Once you have entered all of your information, you can start searching for alumni. Your Wisr dashboard will automatically suggest alumni to you, but you can always browse through different industries. Once you find someone you want to connect with you can either message them or request a call. Both are great ways to start learning more. If you request a call, the system will help you schedule a time that works and will send you both an individualized number. All you have to do is call that number and you will be connected. Be sure to have questions prepared!

Networking is a great way to develop professional relationships, learn more about industries, and learn specific information on companies and positions. Building connections can help you with your exploration process and potentially widen job prospects. Wisr helps facilitate this by putting you in contact with alumni who are more than willing to help you out.

Want to learn more about networking? Visit the Knowlton Center in Burton Morgan! We can offer you information on how to build your professional network and sign you up for a networking workshop with one of our career coaches.

Land the Internship? Are you Ready to Make the Most of It?

Land the internship? are you ready to make most of it? - denison-internship-program-2018-presentation.jpg image #0Internships are important.  You know that by now.  An internship provides you the opportunity to develop valuable skills, build your resume, gain experience, grow your network, explore industries and hopefully earn some money. While you might be tired everyone telling you to find an internship, the reality is internships are valuable and necessary.  Perhaps more essential than you initially thought.  Your summer internship may, in fact, be a bit of an extended job interview.  

In 2017 The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reported that 75% of employers with internship programs indicated the primary focus of these programs was to recruit college graduates for full-time, entry-level positions.  LinkedIn provided some interesting data about the companies utilizing internships as a recruitment tool and their respective conversion rates into employment.   So it’s not a given that your internship will land you a full-time job with the same company but with so many top employers converting interns into employees it definitely suggests you enter your internship prepared to nail it.  

So how do you go into your internship ready to slay it?  Cue the Denison Internship Program is also known as DIP.  DIP provides you a “structured learning experience as you explore the career field and apply academic coursework in the workplace.”  Basically, we are going to help you head into your internship with goals, review your progress during the internship, and help you reflect after your internship to ensure you can articulate just how the internship impacted your career journey.  

PS – if you haven’t landed your internship yet then come see us!  The Knowlton Center offers multiple resources to help you.  Have you checked out our Career Toolkit to learn the basics and get started?  Try attending one of our Career Labs for a more in-depth look at career topics such as “Landing Your Internship”–a topic so important we named a Lab after it!  Finally, work 1-1 with our coaches and peer advisors to be ready to act when the opportunity presents itself.