Yvette Desmarais – UIC Student

Yvette Desmarais is a Masters student at University of Illinois at Chicago’s (UIC) Online Health Informatics Program.  She works full-time as a project manager with Hewlett-Packard’s Information Management and Analytics group focusing on the Health and Life Sciences industry.

What was your first job?
My first job out of undergraduate school was working for my mother in her bookkeeping firm back in 1985. I’d graduated during a previous recession so I was challenged in finding Yvette Desmaraisemployment. I was eventually able to leverage my education in computer science and communications from Penn State along with my new knowledge of accounting into creating analytical reporting tools for my later employers. After taking an MBA from Bentley University I moved into consulting where I found a real affinity for healthcare informatics. This interest led me to UIC’s MS in Health Informatics.

What was your worst job?
Probably my least favorite jobs were those where I saw other employees being treated unfairly. I worked at one family company where the owner openly treated his daughter and other women very differently, in a demeaning way, than his sons. Fortunately, most companies I’ve worked with in later years are more conscious about equal opportunity for women and minorities. We still have a way to go, but most corporations understand the strength diversity brings to their workforce.

What are you going to blog about?
I plan to blog about my experiences as an online Health Informatics student trying to juggle a more than full-time consulting career with a life in transition. I’m recently divorced “empty nester” who owns a small hobby farm in rural New Hampshire where I’m trying to restore a 200 year old colonial home. I work as a consulting project manager for Hewlett-Packard working with clients to deliver analytical systems focused on health and life sciences data. These clients have included hospital groups, health plans, pharmaceutical companies and prescription benefit management corporations. I’ve been in consulting since 2000, so I have seen a lot of change in analytics during my tenure.

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