Emily Wessell '14

Emily Wessell '14 knew that experience would be key to her landing a career in healthcare. So at Dominican University, she took full advantage of the opportunities for hands-on learning in and outside the classroom.

She credits landing her current position as an exercise physiologist at Loyola University Medicine's Pediatric Weight Management Clinic to the many experiences she gained through Dominican.

As a natural science major with a health science concentration, Wessell says she was exposed to a broad base of science and health knowledge. She complemented that classroom learning with volunteer experiences with Miracles for Mia, an organization that raises money to help pay for the medical bills of chronically ill children, and with Dominican's own chapter of MedLife, a group that traveled to Ecuador to set up mobile medical units for impoverished residents.

She also completed an internship at Loyola, which led to a full-time position after graduation.

"Here we are two years later, and I'm actually working as part of the team. I had to do an internship for school, and this was the great result that came out of it," she says.

At Loyola, Wessell works to change the lives of obese children through promoting exercise, balanced nutrition and close collaboration with doctors. It's yet another experience that will bolster her future pursuit of becoming a physician's assistant with a focus on working with children.

"Being able to work at this pediatric weight management clinic, I found a passion for working with kids, and I hope to carry that on as I do go to physician's assistant school," she says.

The opportunity to both learn from and work side-by-side with professionals in the field was one reason why she was drawn to Dominican. She says that preparation has helped solidify her career path and prepared her to step directly into the professional environment.

"Dominican helped me get to where I am today by building my confidence as a person," she says. "And if I didn't have that, I definitely could not be working one-on-one with patients in a professional group setting through a hospital."