ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: SIERRA HAJDU ’13
After graduating from Kellenberg, Sierra Hajdu ’13 attended the University of Notre Dame, from which she graduated in 2017 as an anthropology and science pre-professional double major. She then spent one year working as an urgent care medical scribe. She is currently in her final year of medical school at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine. Sierra is very passionate about providing care to underserved communities, women’s health advocacy, and mentoring younger students in medicine.
What inspired you to pursue a career in medicine?
At a young age I had discovered a love for the sciences that I carried on throughout my education. During undergrad, I developed an interest in anthropology and social justice. The more I studied these fields the more I knew I wanted to pursue a profession that could help people and potentially even empower communities. Though I entertained many fields, I was drawn to medicine the most. Becoming a physician involves a lifelong development of knowledge and skills, and a commitment to bettering others. It also opens many doors for advocacy and leadership roles. As I prepare for a career as a future emergency medicine physician, I’m excited to partake in not only clinical practice, but also teaching and hopefully policy reform too!
How do you think your time at Kellenberg Memorial helped to prepare you for your success in your academic and professional pursuits in medicine?
The education I received at Kellenberg Memorial prepared me to be an active and enthusiastic learner both inside and outside of the classroom. My teachers often demonstrated a passion for teaching that was contagious, making class incredibly enjoyable. They created interactive learning environments that developed my confidence in speaking up in class and my critical thinking skills – both of which came in handy in many of my college seminar classes.
Do you have any advice for current students or young alumni who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine?
If you’re passionate about pursuing medicine, don’t let lower class rankings or grades deter you. There’s many different routes people can take and demonstrating academic resilience often shows strength and dedication in an applicant. I’d also recommend getting as much clinical exposure as possible, whether it be during high school, college, or after. Use it to learn more about the different types of medical providers and the different fields. There’s so many great career paths in medicine besides becoming a doctor! Gap years are becoming more popular and they’re a great time to develop your interests, hone your skills, and learn more about what you want out of a career.
Do you have any favorite teachers, coaches, or club moderators from your time at Kellenberg Memorial?
Yes! Mr. Flood! He was my English teacher for two years, and the moderator of The Phoenix newspaper, for which I wrote for as a student. I should also mention my science teachers like Mrs. Frem, Mrs. Graziano, and Mrs. Klimkowski – they’re probably the reason I decided to study the sciences in college and ultimately pursue medicine.