Oktawia Gielarowiec

Living Life to the Fullest
Health management and policy student Oktawia Gielarowiec

Name: Oktawia Gielarowiec
Hometown: Webster, MA
Major: Health Management and Policy/ Medical Microbiology
Graduation Year: 2021

Looking back on your time at UNH so far, what are you most proud of and why?
I am proud of how involved I have been at UNH and all the relationships I have made with students, faculty, and staff. I have taken initiative to be involved with research on campus which I have presented at a conference for the New Hampshire Health Association, the Undergraduate Research Conference at UNH, and even had a poster presented at the 11th Asia/Oceania Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in Taiwan. Overall, I am most proud of all the skills I have learned through my classes, clubs, networking opportunities, and my continuous effort to reach my career goals. 

What motivates you?
My motivation is to live life to the fullest. To put my all into everything I do and to take advantage of all opportunities and experiences that would allow me to reach my goals. I want to have a voice and the ability to create change to help others.  

Why did you choose your major?
I chose my majors because I hope to be a physician leader. Health Management and Policy has allowed me to learn and experience the behind-the-scene aspect of healthcare. It has taught me leadership and what it takes to be an effective leader in a setting where people’s lives are at stake. With my dual degree in Health Management and Policy and Medical Microbiology I will have the necessary skills to reach my career goals. 

What are you planning to do after graduation?
After graduation I have the short-term goal of completing the trek to Everest base camp and going on a mission trip to work at a hospital in Africa through my church. When I get back, I hope to work in an administrative role in a hospital. However, my long-term goal is to go to medical school and become a physician. Along with my HMP degree I hope to move forward into a physician leadership role.

How is your experience at UNH preparing you to achieve your goals?
The Health Management and Policy program at UNH has continuously been helping me advance my skills to prepare me for my future in healthcare. It has effectively prepared me to be a healthcare leader with a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals of public health and the necessary knowledge for the evolving needs of healthcare systems. Not only do I feel that HMP has given me an extensive skill set, it has also introduced me to professors, advisers, and fellow students with a coinciding aim to help others. Through this program, I have had the opportunity to be involved in research and network with health executives, giving me the ability to get hands-on experience by observing and working under them in an internship. I am very grateful to everyone who has made this program into what it is today and am excited to continue my journey towards becoming a future healthcare leader. 

Any advice for students interested in your major?
My advice is to get involved. In HMP, all the professors and staff genuinely care about each student’s success and their doors are always open to give advice and help in any way. I also advise to get involved in SOHL (Student Organization of Healthcare Leadership) and to go to all the networking events and conferences. Take advantage of talking to the alumni and healthcare executives that come to the classes, ask questions, and learn from their journeys and experiences. Keep an open mind, there are so many directions you can take with an HMP degree. 

Finally, tell us one reason you love UNH.
I love UNH because it is a big university therefore it has all the opportunities a big university can offer, but within this big university I am part of a small major which allows me to build close relationships with faculty, staff, and fellow classmates. I truly feel like the College of Health and Human Services is more like a family that cares about each individual beyond their academic success, and being a Dean’s Ambassador, I have seen first-hand how much Dean Ferrara cares about students. Through the Student Organization of Healthcare Leadership and the numerous networking events, I am grateful to have such an extensive alumni network that continuously gives back to the major. Overall, I am proud to be a wildcat.