Randolph-Macon College held its annual Health Careers Day on November 18, 2016 in the Dollar Tree Room, Brock Commons. The event, designed to match up current students with alumni who are working in health care, included a luncheon, panel discussion and reception. The event was sponsored by The Edge, R-MC's four-year career preparation program.
Career Advice + Networking
Seventeen alumni—physicians, dentists, physical therapists, nurses, physician assistants and veterinarians—participated in Health Careers Day, sharing their career advice with the 24 current students attending the event. Alumni represented class years 1954 through 2015.
Josh Quinn, associate director of professional development and medical careers in The Edge, says the day was filled with opportunities for all who participated.
"There was a great discussion on what it takes to start your own practice, whether it be a dental, medical, physical therapy or vet practice," he says. "Alumni panel participants stressed the importance of mentorship: Guidance and advice from professionals are key to finding the path to a successful career." Panel participants also stressed that they love what they do. "It was amazing to hear Dr. James Darden '54 say that after a 70-year career, he still loves his work and he refuses to retire," recalls Quinn.
Dr. Elizabeth Attreed, DDS '84, who majored in biology at R-MC, earned her DDS degree at MCV. Attreed, the sole practitioner and owner of a dental practice in Stafford, Virginia, enjoyed meeting with the students.
"It was great to be back in campus," says Attreed. "The students made professional contacts for future help and saw career paths through different perspectives: health care professionals with unique stories to share."
PJ Patel '19, a chemistry major and biology minor, plans on attending medical school. His future plans include a career as a physician who will work with underserved populations.
"Seeing so many accomplished health professionals at Health Careers Day eager to help R-MC students inspires me to work harder and give back in the future," says Patel, who recently did an internship at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia.
"Many of our alumni stated that they were better prepared to work in groups, and to develop rapport with patients, as compared to students that had come out of larger colleges and universities," says Quinn. Health Careers Day is beneficial for students and alumni, he says, because both learn by asking questions of each other.
"The question and answer panel resulted in some great discussions and gave the students a broad view of the health care industry and the role of professionals in that industry," he explains. "Students also networked with the alums, establishing valuable connections that can allow them to arrange shadowing experiences, or to gain leads for future employment after completing their professional degrees."
The Randolph-Macon Edge
The Edge prepares students for life after college through workshops, internships, one-on-one advising and a host of other resources. This comprehensive, personalized career plan integrates a liberal arts education with the skills and opportunities students need to gain a competitive advantage with their careers or when applying for graduate school. The Edge program also incorporates the college's pre-professional programs and successful Bassett internship program and builds on R-MC's engaged alumni and business leader network.