Employer Spotlight: Carlo Varquez (MS ’18) LifeStart

The Health Care & Science (HCS) Career Community wants to introduce students to a wide range of careers. Students may be familiar with popular clinical roles (e.g., nurse, physician, veterinarian), but less familiar with jobs like healthcare data analytics, health administration, or biotech research.  

Today, we highlight a certified personal trainer, certified nutrition coach, and small business owner. In a virtual interview, Debbie Kaltman (HCS Employer Engagement Specialist) spoke with Carlo Varquez (MS Exercise Physiology ‘18) to learn about his educational and career journey, insights into pursuing preventative health and fitness professions, and advice to students.

Carlo’s educational and clinical experiences in the healthcare industry shifted his perspective and career goals to focus on preventing rather than treating health issues. In the health promotion, wellness, and fitness industry, Carlos serves as a general manager for LifeStart and founder of Pride Wellness, a small business built to empower clients to invest in their overall health via online classes and coaching sessions. As a certified fitness trainer and nutrition coach, Carlos seeks to take care of other people’s health so they come to feel better about themselves, believe they’re part of something, and vision their life in different ways. He plans to keep learning to become a “master trainer” who has a well-rounded skill set and is well-known as a person who will work hard for his clients.

Carlo’s advice to students interested in preventative health, wellness, and fitness: “Invest in yourself first before you invest in others! A) It gives you credibility. You practice what you preach. B) If you’re not following the right steps to keep yourself healthy, it’s going to be hard to advise others to be healthy.”

“Take every opportunity no matter how big it may seem. If you feel like it’s the right thing in your gut, just do it. I’m a big advocate for that gut feeling. It doesn’t make sense, you don’t know why it’s making you feel this way, but it feels right at the same time. Just follow your gut and take care of yourself.”

How I got this job: Valentina Djordjevic Physician Assistant

During Spring Quarter 2021, the Health Care & Science Career Community team sat down with DePaul students to learn about the educational and career journey of DePaul alum, Valentina Djordjevic (Health Sciences, ‘16). After completing the Physician Assistant (PA) program at Rosalind Franklin University, she is now a PA-C at Able Psychiatry. Valentina shared her story of gaining research, work, volunteer, and clinical experiences while at DePaul, deciding to pursue a career as a PA, her current job responsibilities, and her future career goals. In this event, Valentina highlighted what being a PA means to her and the importance of pursuing your passions.

Words of wisdom from Valentina Djordjevic

Valentina on deciding to become a PA:

“For me it was pretty easy to be a PA because it was quick. Two years seemed pretty doable for me. It offered me the opportunity to work in multiple specialties which I liked at that time because I wasn’t exactly sure that I wanted to be in psychiatry. The GRE also seemed more doable than the MCAT for me. I also liked that there wasn’t a residency requirement for PA school. I really liked that I could get this degree and then start working right away. I wanted to stay in the sciences. I wanted to help people. I wanted to be financially independent and be able to have a good income. I think it was a pretty easy decision for me to go into the PA track.” 

Valentina on the importance of mentoring for a PA:

“A piece of advice about post-PA school is that you really want to find a job where you will be taught. There are a ton of opportunities for PAs out there, and they seem really appealing. They’re going to throw a lot of money at you, and just be careful that they don’t throw you out to the wolves because PA school is really fast. You’re getting this degree with the hope that you’ll be trained really well at your first job, but if you aren’t, you’re gonna have a huge stunt in your growth. It’s really important to have a mentor: someone that you can ask questions to, someone that is expecting you to not know what you’re doing. If it’s a good growth opportunity, that might be better than a more appealing pay stub at the end of the day because if you get good training, you can go anywhere.”

How I got this job: Nia Hurst Research Biologist

During Winter Quarter 2021, the Health Care & Science Career Community team sat down with DePaul students to learn about the educational and career journey of DePaul alumna Nia Hurst (’14). From an Environmental Sciences major to working as a Research Biologist in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nia shared her story of getting involved at DePaul, gaining experience with research labs, and her current job responsibilities. In this event, she highlighted the power of networking because the connections she made  opened doors to so many opportunities.

Words of wisdom from Nia

Nia on building her network and maximizing connections:

“I think it’s really true that you have to expand your network and connect with people to let them know what you’re interested in. Expressing what your interests are to as many people as you can like your advisor and other graduate students. I would also really recommend going to events like conferences, luncheons, and other networking events.”

Nia on the primary responsibilities of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“When there is a regional issue that needs to be addressed (e.g., wetland development to offset phosphorus pollution, mangrove forest development to alleviate hurricane impact), we conduct longitudinal research studies on best practices for that regional development project. There are a lot of different projects. It’s applied research that you do for the sake of knowledge.”

Nia on the diversity of scientific roles available in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

“I’m a research biologist, but we work with engineers, statisticians, computer specialists. There’s a lot of people to build out a team with, a lot of opportunities for a lot of different types of scientists.”

DePaul Career Center May Programming

We are excited to share our May 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills, and navigate the ever-changing job market.

Mark your calendars: The Virtual Spring Interview Day is on May 21st!

Our career advisors are also available remotely for one-on-one appointments and tailored advice.


Register for the Job Search Summit for Underrepresented Students on May 7th

Register for Spring Interview Day on May 21st


May 19: Careers in Law



May 25: How I got this Job: Lionsgate


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May 26: Preparing a Pitch Deck



May 4: Tech & Design Career Community Pop-Up Event: Playing Codenames

May 5: Case Interview Prep with Huron Consulting

May 11: Women in Business: Overcoming Challenges in the Workplace

May 12: Business Not as Usual

May 12: MCEA: Pop-Up Event

May 14: Signature Event: Explore Your Impact

May 19: HCS Community Pop-up: Healthcare Thank-a-thon

May 19: Let’s Talk Graduation: Recent Alumni Panel on Life After Graduation

May 20: Center for Sales Leadership Art of Persuasion

DePaul Career Center April Programming

We are excited to share our April 2021 programming schedule below! These regularly scheduled virtual events and workshops will help you stay on top of your career goals, gain new skills and navigate the ever-changing job market.

Mark your calendars: The Virtual Spring Career Fair is on April 8th!

Our career advisors are also available remotely for one-on-one appointments and tailored advice.

Register for the Spring Career Fair on April 8th

Register for ASK Oasis on April 5th


Apr 14: Careers in Film

Apr 20: Careers In Cybersecurity



Apr 21: CEO

Apr 29: Physician’s Assistant (PA)


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Apr 12Social Media Strategy & Nonprofits

Apr 13: CITI Training & Research Careers



Apr 6: How to: Serve in the Peace Corps

Apr 6: DePaul Design Internship Program Presents: Design Portfolio Showcase

Apr 9: Finding & Interviewing for Research Opportunities

Apr 20: Women in STEM Virtual Panel Discussion

Apr 23: Make $ Traveling

Apr 29: Center for Sales Leadership Alumni Panel

Meet Juliann Krupa, Coordinator of Guest Engagement & Learning Programs Specialist at John G. Shedd Aquarium

The Health Care & Science (HCS) Career Community wants to introduce students to a wide range of careers. Students may be familiar with popular clinical roles (e.g., nurse, physician, veterinarian), but less familiar with jobs like healthcare data analytics, health administration, or biotech research.  

Juliann Krupa - Learning Programs Specialist - John G. Shedd Aquarium |  LinkedIn

Today, we want to highlight a science educator at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. In a virtual interview, Debbie Kaltman (HCS Employer Engagement Specialist) met with Juliann Krupa (DePaul ‘20, MS in Science Education) to share her educational and career journey, her current role as a Learning Programs Specialist, and advice for students interested in science education.

Juliann had many experiences in the museum industry to gain knowledge of animal care and conservation work. Through these opportunities, she discovered her passion for interacting with learners of all ages. As an informal educator, Juliann designs and implements different projects and programs for the aquarium and interacts with new guests of all ages and backgrounds.  She finds teaching and learning from museum guests to be very rewarding. 

Juliann shared her insights on informal education: “Being in informal education is a great way to test out if you would like to teach. If you’re not necessarily interested in teaching in the formal classroom, there are all kinds of opportunities at museums, forest preserves, and historical houses. There are a lot of opportunities in areas that are perhaps not ones you might think of right at the top of your head.”

Check out the full video below to learn more!

Resources:

Shedd Aquarium

Work at Shedd

Internships