Caroline Boatfield ’22
Area(s) of Study
Major in Neuroscience and Minor Chemistry
Rosalind Franklin University
What made you choose Lake Forest College?
I have a deep interest in science and a passion for the arts. Lake Forest College was an opportunity to be involved in every aspect of my interests while also weaving them together. Attending the College was a great way to support my variety of interests without having to sacrifice participating in activities I enjoyed.
How did a liberal arts education make a difference for you?
Participation in a curriculum that uplifts a variety of experiences and cultures is paramount for creating the foundation of curiosity and empathy. I felt my world view expanded, and I became acutely aware of injustices and how to contribute to causes to address those injustices. Having the opportunity to engage with so much diverse material demonstrated how interconnected each subject is, and how important it is for me to consider how my actions create a difference in the world.
What experiences outside of the classroom do you think helped prepare you for PA studies?
I participated in many different leadership roles for clubs in undergrad. Learning how to collaborate and uplift others, while also advocating for myself and my ideas helped prepare me for the balance of authority a PA has. There is a tough balance in communicating with both patients and physicians. Knowing how to express ideas politely without sacrificing my requests took time and effort to develop during undergrad, and by participating in leadership roles I was able to practice this in a safe & low-stake environment. Fine-tuning leadership skills through my positions as an executive board member really helped prepare me for this position.
How did your time at Lake Forest College help you prepare to apply to graduate school?
The rigor and manageable difficulty of the courses I took played in acquiring the tenacious attitude required to successfully apply to graduate school. It is not an easy process, and I was well-prepared to face any obstacle head on. My course load required intense problem-solving skills, which I learned by repeatedly coming up against problems and finding ingenious ways to create solutions. Becoming indefatigable when a challenge is posed is a skill I developed during all four years of undergrad. This was invaluable when applying to graduate school, as there are always curveballs that can be detrimental if you do not find a solution.
What do you think of the new Health Professions Program between Lake Forest College and Rosalind Franklin University?
It is a great opportunity for students with a wealth of lived experience to truly shine and accentuate their world experience in the context of the classroom. This program emphasizes the importance of ethical, sociological, and historical perspectives surrounding healthcare. I am hoping it will set the groundwork for an appreciation and respect for the different walks of life that healthcare professionals are exposed to.
What skills and experiences at Lake Forest do you believe will help you be successful?
My presentation and speaking skills were polished during my time at the College.Multiple opportunities to conduct research and then present my work at regional and local conferences helped to establish my ability to present confidently and clearly. This is incredibly important when going into healthcare, as each individual comprehends material differently. It is important to be well-versed in different styles of communication so that one can impart knowledge to a variety of groups and people.
What advice would you give a high school student looking to pursue pre-health and is considering Lake Forest College?
I would stress the importance of finding a way to intertwine the passions in your life with the career you want to pursue. There is always a space for you, even if you must make it yourself. By combining your true interests with a career path (especially healthcare) you can create much-needed connections between your life and the work you do. This strategy is embodied by the pre-health program at the College, and you will find the ability in this program to hone your personal talents and interests alongside academic pursuits.