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Otterbein health communication degree presents many paths to employment

Otterbein health communication degree presents many paths to employment

By Corey Libow

Otterbein’s health communication major offers students a multitude of career options upon graduation.

Katelyn Hanzel ’15 experienced firsthand the variety of professional choices that could arise from a health communication major.

“We were exposed to people from many different parts of the health comm niche,” she said. “The classes touch on a lot of different aspects. You can do event or program coordination, media relations, public relations - there are so many different things you can do with it.”

Additionally, adding a health communication major to her public relations major allowed Hanzel to explore her other interests in Otterbein while setting herself up for a career path after college.

“It was really a hand-in-hand kind of experience.”

Now Hanzel works as a senior media relations specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Starting as a media relations intern before her senior year, she now has spent three years at Nationwide Children’s in a position that allows her to interact with all aspects of the hospital. She facilitates interviews, reaches out to the media and promotes new research studies that can make an impact in children’s lives.

While Hanzel is very happy with her job, she knows her major gives her a lot of options.

“I feel like the health comm major was really a good addition to my public relations major and the foundation I built there,” she said.

Travis Huffman ’17 hopes to combine his health comm major with a law degree.

“I wasn’t interested in the clinical side but wanted to be in the healthcare field,” he said.  “I decided I would branch out and try to find something that was not quite a typical business degree, but something a little more unique.”

Huffman found what he was looking for in the health communication major. He got a feel for the administrative side of healthcare after an internship with Mount Carmel Health System turned into a part-time job.

Now Huffman is going through law school to find the unique role in healthcare he desires. Even though he’s one of the only communication majors enrolled at Capital University Law School, his health communication background has proved beneficial.

“Everything we’re doing in class relates to the communication aspect,” he said. “It’s a huge asset to have, knowing how to communicate. Communication is what gets the point across and what ultimately wins you cases.”

The diverse array of professions that the health communication major delivers upon graduation has attracted students that want job security while also following their passions.

“Healthcare is not going away,” says Hanzel. “Patients’ stories are always going to need to be told. I think it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.”

Learn more about the Otterbein Department of Communication.