Student Spotlight: Chris Szczerba Jr.

"I chose the analytics track, as I believe that better operationalization of data, when properly and carefully used, will revolutionize care, outcomes, and patient experiences."

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born in New York City and grew up on Florida’s Space Coast in Titusville. After high school, I spent a year in Germany as a Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for Young Professionals award winner and attended University of Central Florida in Orlando after returning. I studied international relations but always had a special interest in healthcare. Following undergrad, I moved to Taiwan as a Fulbright grantee and spent two years there teaching elementary school English language arts. Upon moving back to the USA, I started my healthcare career as a consultant for Cerner, stationed at Circle Health in Lowell, Massachusetts. Now, I work directly for Circle Health as a revenue cycle analyst. In my free time, I love playing volleyball, bowling, skiing, reading, learning, cooking, and playing the oboe.

Where did you earn your undergraduate degree? What degree/concentration did you complete?

International and Global Studies, BA; University of Central Florida; Orlando, Florida.

Why did you choose Tufts’ online MS in Health Informatics & Analytics program?

Tufts University School of Medicine is an important piece of the present and future of healthcare, regionally, nationally, and globally. I was impressed by what I learned about how this program was constructed by true industry leaders who understand the fundamentals of health informatics and analytics, and who can empower students to become the future drivers of the field.

Which track did you choose and why?

I chose the analytics track, as I believe that better operationalization of data, when properly and carefully used, will revolutionize care, outcomes, and patient experiences.

What has been your favorite course and why?

So far, my favorite has been the Digital Health course. This course challenged students not only to research trends in technology but also to develop our own solutions that meet specific patient needs.

Tell us about your experiences in the virtual classroom.

The virtual classroom experience has been great, as the professors are ensuring students interact and learn from one another, meet with industry leaders, and practice skills in breakout sessions.

What’s one thing that has surprised you about being a student in this program?

The program has certainly broadened my horizons. In the workplace, it is so easy to be laser-focused on your day-to-day operations. Working through the program has already helped me develop skills and bring new ideas back to my organization.

What challenges have you faced in this program, and how have you overcome them?

Being a student and a working professional is a challenge, but I have amazing support systems in my personal life, in my professional life, and at Tufts, as well!

What are your plans after graduation?

I hope to use what I learn to keep bringing new perspectives to Circle Health as I grow as a professional in the administrative space. Long term, I believe my biggest potential lies in the intersection of government policy, healthcare administration, and health IT capabilities. This degree is definitely preparing me for that goal.

Do you have any advice for aspiring MS in Health Informatics & Analytics students?

What are you waiting for? The industry is not slowing down! New developments are happening every day, and you can be part of the solutions that will change the lives of patients for the better!