"What are you going to do after you graduate?” by Ellie Wood

As an upcoming senior at the University of Virginia, I’ve already been asked this notorious question countless times. Three years ago, I took comfort in the fact that surely by my senior year I would know what I wanted to do with the rest of my life... a common misconception. Entering my final year here, I still *shockingly* respond to that question with  “I don’t know;” however, through my summer as an OhanaHealth Fellow, I have learned to embrace that ambiguity rather than fear it.

Contrary to the stereotypical intern stapling papers and writing emails, I spent my time in Nashville working on major projects within my company, Stratasan, and learning from a variety of intelligent individuals in the healthcare and entrepreneurship space. As an intern at Stratasan, I gained invaluable experience in the healthcare realm; but through OhanaHealth, I had the unique opportunity to explore the bigger questions like “how am I going to impact the world?” and “what kind of person do I want to be?”

After attending a variety of panels on personal and career development, I left this summer inspired and excited for the future but more importantly I now know the necessity of reflecting on the present. OhanaHealth provided the time, space, and resources for that self-reflection and through conversations with the OhanaHealth team and my coworkers at Stratasan, I learned more about my strengths, weaknesses, and passions. For example, I absolutely love working on teams. Throughout the summer, our cohort broke into two groups and each created a hypothetical healthcare product and eventually pitched the product.  Although I tried my best to maintain my somewhat “professional” demeanor, I have never laughed so hard in my life and truly enjoyed the company of my team members. Along the way, we also managed to create a pretty awesome mental healthcare product (if I do say so myself). Experiences like this one, among many others, made my summer in Nashville the best one yet.

Looking ahead, I might not know exactly what I want to do after graduation, but that’s okay. After my summer with OhanaHealth, I can face the future with confidence and excitement, knowing I now have the skills, resources, and experiences to equip me for whatever unknowns lie ahead.

Read More about Ellie's experience at Stratasan from her Intern Insights HERE.