At my very first day of class as a Vanderbilt student, my professors gave us a speech about 'learning how to be a learner.' They told us their goal for us was to become pursuers of knowledge, questioners of the status quo, and individuals that sought to understand people different from ourselves. We were encouraged to identify solutions to problems that others may yet to have even identified as a problem, especially when it came to considering diverse, under-represented groups.
In my role as a behavioral health executive, I apply these lessons every day. When treating conditions that reside in the mind and are influenced by innumerable environmental factors, the need to constantly be learning is clear. I learn from my clients. I learn from my colleagues. I seek to apply this knowledge to improve the support available to individuals struggling with mental health issues in novel and positive ways.
My education prepared me to be an individual who embraces challenges and utilizes multiple viewpoints when approaching a situation. I have gotten to apply what I learned in many capacities from direct client care, to organizational leadership, to program development and application in the community. I'm proud to be an alumnus and look forward to using my education to make a positive impact across my career.