The Life Skills team offers programming and advice from alumni about topics such nutrition, transitioning to life after Hamilton, and much more. 

Life Skills Blog

Love What You Do: The Joy of Learning

By Andrew Mandelbaum ’16

Andrew Mandelbaum '16
Andrew Mandelbaum '16
Tags Life Skills

During my prospective student tour of Hamilton, I felt drawn into the student body because I could feel the intellectual curiosity teeming through the campus. While on the Hill, I found joy in the extended debates about subjects ranging from economics in the classroom to finding the best way to compile a meal in Commons. Hamilton students are passionate and enjoy variety in their education. When I started my career search, I knew that finding a place where I could continue to create new ideas and expand my knowledge meant I would love my work. 

I began my career search in earnest during the fall semester of my senior year. Epic offered me the opportunity to interview, and they wooed me with their creative campus and culture that balances meaningful work with having fun. I met my interviewing peers the night before over dinner and we discussed the self-selected presentations we would be giving the next day. Based on their topics, the group that Epic recruited had the qualities I was looking for in colleagues: intelligence, thoughtfulness, and creativity. 

I eagerly accepted the opportunity to project manage hospital software implementations, a line of work I never expected to find myself pursuing. But when I found out I would be working on the registration team, what sounded like an exciting opportunity felt dull. I did not expect to find the glamor of a tech company registering patients for visits. Even so, I quickly found comfort in the dynamic work environment that pushed me to grow constantly. Soon enough, I learned about the nuances of my work and how critical a role registration played in the greater picture. 

My work combines elements of project management, consulting, and technical support, allowing me to develop diverse skills. Additionally, a patient’s registration interacts with many areas in the patient’s care cycle leading me to have conversations with folks from the front desk to the C-suite. I’ve worked with different types of healthcare systems and traveled to many different locations--ranging from interacting with customers in foreign countries, to working with customers in Hamilton’s backyard at Mohawk Valley Health System—an organization that provided my care while I was a student. Each opportunity allowed me to expand my knowledge in directions I never expected. 

When I start on a new project, I need to trust what I know, but also be fast to adapt to a new customer’s specific needs. However, this does not prevent me from challenging organizations I work with to adopt new practices, expand their access to care, and make their care more transparent. I get the opportunity to ask business leaders tough questions about the way they run their operations. Then, we collaborate to find solutions that are practical and sustainable. 

Within Epic, I turn to our development teams and start conversations on improving our product to better serve our customers. We have lively conversations about the feasibility of different solutions as well as the importance of different features within our products. 

Combining the intellectual curiosity that drives Hamilton students with Hamilton’s focus on teaching students how to learn and adapt creates a strong skill set that many employers value. It’s remarkable that my education prepared me to take on a constantly changing health care landscape. Serendipity brought me back to the Hamilton community. 

I recommend you take risks and revel in new experiences along your journey to find a career. Use your passion for learning to inspire your work. The more you fully engage in problems, the more fun you have solving them. At first glance, something may not appear exciting, but that generally means you do not fully understand it yet.

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