Jessica Bressler, ‘17, ‘19, always knew she wanted to work in the healthcare field, but it wasn’t until she was in her clinical rotation as a medical imaging major that she found what she really wanted to do.

“Hospital administration touches so many more patients’ lives and gets more exposure for what they’re doing in healthcare. That’s what drove me to make the switch,” Jess said.

After graduating with her associate degree in medical imaging, she returned to the Mount for a degree in business. She loved the business side of working in a hospital–the leadership skills and puzzle-like hospital operations spoke to her more than clinical care, and she knew that having a business degree would help her achieve her goals.

During her time in the business program, she did an internship with UPMC Altoona, where she made plenty of connections that benefitted her during her Masters of Healthcare Administration. She was able to do her residency at UPMC Altoona, which was extended to the end of 2020 while Jess finishes her program.

When she graduates from her MHA program at Penn State, Jess has accepted an administrative fellowship with the University of Virginia Medical Center. There, she will work under the hospital’s COO on special projects and gain important exposure to senior leadership.

“It’s basically set up like a huge, two-year internship,” Jess said.

Jess says that her favorite part of working in hospital administration is that she gets to play a part in making patients’ experiences better.

“Nobody wants to be getting care at the hospital,” she said. “If I get to play a role in making someone’s day better, then that’s something that really drives me.”

Her biggest piece of advice for incoming students is to say yes to every opportunity you’re given when it comes to job shadowing and internships. 

“Be present in getting experience. Ask as many questions as you can. People love to share what they know with others, and I’ve found that people in this field are willing to help and teach.”