The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Month: May 2015

From Registered Nurse to Informatics Analyst

Theresa Harrigan is a graduate from Brandeis Graduate Professional Studies Master of Science in Health and Medical Informatics. She is currently an Informatics Business Analyst for EPIC implementation at Massachusetts General Hospital.

I am atheresa blog photo registered nurse and have worked in health care for more than two decades. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would be furthering my education, I would likely have said no.  My family and professional life was simply too demanding and I could not imagine myself finding the time to attend classes.  Fast forward a few years and you will find me celebrating the completion of my master’s degree from Brandeis in Health and Medical Informatics.   The online-learning program at Brandeis provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge and understanding of health care relative to the application of technology solutions and opened new doors for me. I was able connect with and learn from experienced leaders in the industry in the industry as well as with other students from a wide variety of professional backgrounds and from all over the world. While a student at Brandeis, I discovered new opportunities and pathways for professional growth that I never realized existed.

My professional work continues to evolve and I have become involved in promoting technology solutions as an informatics analyst  aMedizint Massachusetts General Hospital. My mission is to simplify health care for both providers and patients.  Because of my educational experience and the knowledge gained, I believe I will be able to make a direct contribution to improving patient care outcomes and the delivery of health care.

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Creating the Total Package

Below is a post written by M.S. in Information Security graduate, Megan Olvera. She is an EMC employee who is continuing her quest for life-long learning. Below are her thoughts on her experience with Brandeis GPS.

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“I am admittedly a lifelong learner. I have always loved school, and although I had just wrapped up my first Master’s Degree in 2010, by 2011, I was already missing the classroom. Unfortunately, I couldn’t justify the time and expense required to earn another degree “just because.”  What to do, what to do?  My career had taken a turn from a more liberal arts focus into the world of IT, and although my daily responsibilities didn’t require an IT background, having that level of knowledge certainly wouldn’t hurt.  When my employer (EMC) sent out information about their partnership with Brandeis, jumping into the Master of Science in Information Security program seemed a perfect next step.

My previous formal education was focused on the Humanities side of the house, so I worried that I’d struggle with the more technical concepts I knew would come with this program; working in IT and learning IT in theory are often two very different things.  I was happy to discover that the Brandeis instructors were not only patient in clarifying issues for me, but they seemed to appreciate the human-experience slant that my own background naturally brought to our class discussions.  More than once, professors offered feedback that they valued the perspectives I added to the conversations.

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The online learning format of Brandeis GPS was ideal for me, as I lead a busy life between family, work, and all-consuming hobbies.  If I had a vacation planned or needed to travel for work, there were no worries about missing class, as class came with me!  I’d be sure to message my professors of any planned time away, just in case I ran into connectivity issues, and most professors were accommodating if I asked for a weekly assignment to be made available early, so that I could work ahead when needed.

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As I progressed through the curriculum at Brandeis, my new found knowledge was noticed and appreciated at work. At times, it even caused exclamations of surprise from my manager at my ability to clearly understand and troubleshoot technical issues that had stumped other members of our team.  In addition to learning technical concepts, I also learned how to efficiently communicate with management; presenting the need-to-know information in a way that enables them to quickly grasp issues and impacts and then make decisions.  In my current role, I interact with clients who expect a certain level of technical expertise combined with graceful communication skills, and now, thanks to my experience at Brandeis, I can confidently step forward and claim that competence.  If any readers are on the fence about committing to (in my case, yet another) degree program, hesitate no longer – Brandeis is the way to go!”

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