Rachel Patterson

Rachel Patterson When Rachel Patterson of Wartrace, Tennessee, took an internship while earning her bachelor’s from Tennessee Tech University in professional studies with a concentration in healthcare administration, she was energized to see what a difference she could make.

“I know a lot of people in healthcare avoid administration, but I want that to change. I want to be the person that they can come to and love working with,” Patterson said. “After I took an internship at Southern Tennessee Regional Health System-Winchester, I realized this was a career that I wanted to pursue after I saw how they were changing healthcare for the better. It really inspired me.”

She says she first came to Tech for her bachelor’s because of the atmosphere and location.

“My brother and sister-in-law both came to Tech, so I had visited a few times. I didn’t even go on a campus tour because I already knew I loved the atmosphere, the size of the campus and Cookeville.”

After earning her bachelor’s, Patterson decided she wanted to advance in her career and make the most impact possible with her work. She returned to Tech for her master’s in professional studies with a concentration in healthcare administration. Pursuing her master’s degree remotely has helped her keep her GPA at a 4.0 while also having time for a job, family and friends. She is working as a graduate assistant in Tech’s University Advancement.

“Working as a graduate assistant has helped me gain a lot of experience that I am going to be using in my career someday,” she said. “It has also helped pay for almost all of my grad school tuition. I would recommend any grad student to work as a graduate assistant if they are able to.”

She encouraged anyone thinking of pursuing their master’s to do so and to keep pushing through.

“There are going to be times when you will want to give up, but getting your master’s will make it worthwhile in the end,” she said. “I feel like getting my master’s is going to help me reach the dream that I have always desired and that is making a difference in healthcare. I am so passionate about being the best I can be to make a difference to others.”

 When Patterson graduates, she will be the first person in her family to receive a master’s degree.

“I had a lot of people that doubted me along the way but I have never been so proud of myself for pushing through and achieving my goals,” she said. “It is an amazing feeling. I have come to love Tennessee Tech and Cookeville has become my home away from home over the last few years. I would recommend this program and this university to anybody.” 

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