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MHCI Student Julia Wiacek Wants to Improve Health Communication
“The MHCI program has broadened my horizons.”
Julia Wiacek

Julia Wiacek is a graduate student in SC&I's Master of Health Communication and Information (MHCI) program who identifies as a Jersey girl with strong Polish roots who loves period dramas. She attended Montclair State University, receiving a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media Arts with a minor in Business. She worked in event management for the commercial radio station 94.5 PST and had her heart set on a career in the entertainment industry but then the pandemic hit and changed everything. Julia shared her unique path to the MHCI.

SC&I: What drew you to the MHCI program at Rutgers?

JW: After losing my position with the radio station, I eventually got a job as a receptionist at a pediatrician's office. This opened my eyes to the health field. I saw how people were affected by the spread of pandemic-related misinformation and the lack of health education. I saw the underserved communities suffer and realized I want to use my communication skills to create better more accurate educational health campaigns. This led me to research graduate programs in this field. I knew that Rutgers had exceptional professors and courses to offer. Not only would I be able to develop strong relationships with professors and classmates but skills that would last me a lifetime. I like to consider myself a renaissance woman; I want to learn a little bit of everything; the courses within this program sounded so interesting that I knew my heart was set on Rutgers.

SC&I: What are your career goals once you graduate?

JW: The MHCI program has broadened my horizons, so I'm interested in all areas of health communications, whether working for the department of health, healthcare advertising, or hospitals. I enjoy creating campaigns and would love to continue this work in the future. 

SC&I: How well is the MHCI program meeting your expectations?

JW: The MHCI program is going above and beyond my expectations. The professors are highly experienced in the field and are very approachable. I love that the program is so close-knit and that our director, Teaching Professor Richard Dool, teaches multiple courses and is open to communicating with students. Meeting and learning from my classmates and professors is a real highlight. 

SC&I: What advice do you have for someone considering the MHCI program?

JW: I have two pieces of advice: don't doubt yourself; time management is everything! I work a full-time job, so my planner has been an enormous help in organizing all of my assignments. Your classmates and professors are there for you to lean on! 

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