Excelsior Service Fellow
New York State Department of Health
Marina Drenovac knew she wanted to work in healthcare since the age of six growing up in Serbia. First considering becoming a doctor, she later became interested in enhancing healthcare programs.
In July 2011, Marina moved to the U.S. to pursue a Master's in Public Administration from Baruch College's School of Public Affairs. "There was nothing similar in my country related to health care," she explains of deciding to pursue the program. Marina learned about data analysis and the U.S. health care and political systems, and secured an internship with New York Presbyterian Hospital, where she worked on database management.
Her experience coupled with her academic achievements earned Marina a two-year position in state government as an Excelsior Service Fellow. Selected by Governor Cuomo among 79 other recent graduates from colleges, universities, law and professional programs, the inaugural fellowship awards graduates the opportunity to work in policy and operations for one of 41 state agencies and authorities.
Appointed to the New York State Department of Health, Marina was excited that her first job after graduating was in civil service, particularly in policy.
"I went through a demanding selection process, and this particular agency corresponded with my interests in this field – healthcare reforms, affordable healthcare coverage, and increasing access to primary healthcare."
Marina quickly learned that working for the government requires passion and commitment, two traits that she possesses."I always wanted to work in the health care industry as a policy analyst," Marina explains. "This job perfectly matches my education, interests and future career goals."
No matter what's in store for her following her fellowship, it has become clear to Marina that she is pursuing the right field. When asked what advice she would give to current Baruch SPA students looking for employment, Marina advises that students believe in themselves, be persistent and always follow their interests.
Written by Celene McDermott