A bridge to tomorrow

Taking a gap year after completing her Bachelor of Health Science helped Teirra Andrisse regroup and hit the ground running as she began her Master of Health Administration studies at the University of Missouri.

Teirra Andrisse

June 5, 2024

Jumping straight into a career after completing her bachelor’s degree in health science from the University of Missouri was an “oddly unsettling” prospect for Teirra Andrisse.

She found herself uncertain about her plan to pursue a career in pharmacy or another clinical role. After completing an internship during her junior year in the corporate office of a senior living/skilled nursing facility, Andrisse discovered an exciting new path.

“I shifted gears to health care administration while continuing to focus on health professions emphasis coursework,” Andrisse said. The switch also led the 2022 College of Health Sciences graduate to take a bridge or gap year to regroup and reassess.

Despite any initial qualms, she learned that changing her mind and taking her time was OK.

Now, she’s just wrapped up the first year of her Master of Health Administration studies at Mizzou, and was recently awarded the Gerard Fischer Future of HMI Scholarship.

Strategizing for success

With the assistance of her College of Health Sciences academic advisor Darcy Holtgrave, Andrisse created a four-year plan that would help her achieve her new goal of earning an MHA. Andrisse is interested in health care policy and women’s rights, so the pair shaped her coursework accordingly.

“This allowed me to customize my course selection, successfully fulfilling the pre-professional emphasis in health science I had already started while immersing myself in health administration classes,” Andrisse said.

Andrisse started in Mizzou’s Master of Health Administration program last fall. Reflecting on her experiences so far, she said time management became crucial and collaborating on research projects taught her effective teamwork.

“I focused on professional development through workshops,” Andrisse said. “Building a professional identity, both online and offline, and expanding my network became top priorities. This also shaped my academic journey and prepared me for post-graduation opportunities.”

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