Alexandra Wanas '21, '22 MBA : Preparing for Career Combining Business and Health Care

Alexandra Wanas '21, '22 MBA came to the University with an interest in health care and plans to go to medical school. But after a calculus class helped her realize she enjoyed working with numbers more than studying biology, she switched to the Management, Marketing, and Entrepreneurship program in the Kania School of Management. 

Fortunately, making that change did not mean she had to leave health care behind. Instead, Wanas enrolled in the University's accelerated five-year bachelor's and MBA degree program, concentrating in health care management. She earned her undergraduate degree in business administration in May 2021 and will graduate with her MBA in May 2022.

Internship Experience Proves Fruitful

Wanas plans to work at a company that sells medical devices, equipment and supplies, and she experienced that first-hand in the summer and fall of 2020 as an intern at ComServe, which provides sales, customer service, logistics, and information services for pharmaceutical companies.

"I sold vaccines -- including flu, meningitis, shingles, pertussis, tetanus and rabies -- and other supplies, such as needles, gloves and safety containers, to retail pharmacies," says Wanas, who worked as a biological sales representative. "ComServe was a great resource in educating me about the health care industry, and taught me about different roles of health care administrators by speaking with them daily, and, essentially, allowed me to realize I wanted to pursue a career in it."

"I was speaking with health care professionals such as pharmacists, doctors, and nurse practitioners. My professors prepared me to be confident and competent, and allowed me to best meet the needs of the customers I spoke with," she says. "I also worked on projects with teammates and other coworkers, from simple tasks to complex projects. And I can say that my ability to collaborate those ideas with my coworkers was a direct result of how I collaborated on projects with students at the University of Scranton." says Wanas. 

Guided by Mentor

Wanas connected with ComServe at Scranton's annual Career Expo and was able to earn course credit for her internship. The course component included assigned reading, plus weekly meetings with the department chair, Dr. S.P. Chattopadhyay.

"Dr. Chattopadhyay provided me with readings that prepared me to participate in (creating) new hire training courses at ComServe. The mentorship played a significant role in me being able to assist the training department," says Wanas, who felt prepared to succeed in her internship thanks to this mentorship and other Scranton marketing and business courses. 

Now, that internship experience is also proving valuable in her MBA courses. One of Wanas' classes required an in-depth analysis of the health status, health services and health systems of a community. "I was able to take what I was learning at ComServe about the day-to-day operations of a health care-related business and apply it to my report," she says. 

Formed By Jesuit Values and Education

Wanas grew up in Scranton and graduated from the local Jesuit high school, Scranton Preparatory School, so continuing her education in the Jesuit tradition was part of why she she chose the university. The quote "Go forth and set the world on fire," attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order of priests, inspires her.

"I take from that saying to take everything you've learned and apply it to who you are as a person, and figure out what to do with your life from that," Wanas says. "That's something I hold near and dear to my heart, when I think about what I want to do with my future and understanding that my Jesuit academic experience got me to where I am now."