My name is Sara and this is the story of how I unexpectedly found my career match here at UPMC.

After pursuing a career in teaching during my early twenties, I found myself struggling to find a permanent position. While I loved being a teacher and the opportunity it gave me to impact students and encourage their growth, the right chance to do this evaded me. But in a moment some might call serendipitous, my career opportunity came knocking in an unexpected place: a wedding! While discussing my career hopes, aspirations, and frustrations with a friend and guest at the wedding, my friend told me about a position opening up at UPMC working with students. But these were not the kind of students I was used to teaching—they were medical students!

Despite having no background in medicine, I knew that this opportunity to work with graduated medical students could be just what I was looking for. My time as a teacher helped me learn the building blocks that help students grow: understanding, patience, listening, and the determination to be their champion. With these values as my guide, I decided to pursue this opportunity at UPMC and see if it would be a match! That fateful moment was about a year ago, and I am now coming up on my ninth month as a department manager in Graduate Medical Education. I found my career match here at UPMC, and I am grateful to continue to have the opportunity to do what I’ve always loved: help students!

In my role here at UPMC, I have daily interactions with residents and students of Pittsburgh Medical School, supporting their needs and providing another outlet of understanding as they learn alongside our outstanding doctors and faculty. Sometimes my work is as simple as pointing a resident towards the right resource, while other times my tasks are a little more untraditional, like helping a new resident from California find the perfect place to live here in Pittsburgh. My co-workers, in turn, have supported me by encouraging me to join committees that have developed me both personally and professionally. Through our work here at UPMC Presbyterian, I get the chance to witness my co-workers practice excellent communication among patients and our department, which has helped develop me as professional even further.

Though a career with UPMC was an untraditional direction to take my teaching career, I know that it was the right decision. My favorite part of my role is getting to know people on a deeper level and helping them find a rewarding placement and niche here in Pittsburgh and at UPMC. Just as I found my match here at UPMC, it’s my hope that they will, too. Though I never imagined UPMC would be the place my teaching career would take me, I feel very much at home here.

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