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Student Spotlight: Tara Zielke

For​ this month's student spotlight, we are featuring a member of the winning 2017 Interprofessional Case Competition team, Tara Zielke! Learn more about Tara's involvement with Scenic Rivers AHEC.

Where are you originally from?

Onalaska, WI

Where did you attend/or currently are attending school?

I attended Onalaska High School, and am now attending Carroll University. I will graduate in May of 2018.

What are your future career/school goals?

I aspire to become a humble, hard working, and passionate cardiologist. I also hope to return to Guatemala to address international health care disparities and improve my Spanish.

Tara attending the health careers camp in 2012.

What was your first experience with AHEC and what did you learn from it?

​​In 2012, I attended the AHEC health careers summer camp. I was a little unsure about medicine before, but this experience certainly confirmed my passion to serve others in health care. I learned what a day in the life of a physician is like first hand through shadowing and educational opportunities. I also made new friends and had a lot of fun.

Did you continue to participate in any AHEC programs such as camp counselor, AHEC alumni or AHEConnect?

Yes, I competed at the Interprofessional healthcare case competition in January with my team. Together we made a plan to increase the quality of care for Native Americans. We were so excited to win first overall. I learned an enormous amount about working as a team and the power of collaboration in healthcare. I am now an AHEC alumni member as well.

Tara on a trip to a health clinic in Guatemala.

Do you have plans to take advantage of AHEC programs in the future? (internship, alumni?)

Yes, I would love to help at the next Interprofessional healthcare case competition and summer health careers camp. Both of these experiences had a large impact on my career path.

What advice would you give to younger students starting to navigate their future in a health care career?

I think it helps to think of my journey to achieve my dream career like a marathon. This metaphor has always helped me to focus on my short-term goals or the mile in front of me instead of worrying about the miles ahead. I would recommend setting short-term goals and celebrating your own successes. It is important to do always do your best, but I also believe it is important to really enjoy the journey to your dream career.

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