Kara LavertuM.S., Exercise and Sport Science, 2019
Landing a job she loves
Kara is the Neuro Wellness Program Manager for Supportive Living, Inc. where she oversees programs such as adaptive exercise, music and art for brain injury survivors. She is now working toward certification as a brain injury specialist to better understand what happens to the brain, how to adapt, answer questions and help people navigate.
Kara had been looking at physician’s assistant programs after graduating from another college, but says she changed her my mind when she found out about the fellowship opportunities with Merrimack’s exercise and sport science master’s degree program.
“The fellowship helped me stand out when I was interviewing. I believe that having my master’s was a big reason for getting the job. They saw me as serious, and they could tell I knew what I was talking about.”
Kara says her health sciences fellowship had an extremely positive effect on her career. “Two things stood out to me about Merrimack’s graduate program,” she says “One, you can complete the degree in less than a year. That was really important because I couldn’t afford to put my life on hold while I did my graduate work.” Two, Kara says, that the graduate fellowship made it truly affordable for her.
Making her dream career possible
As a fellow, Kara was also a research assistant working closely with Professor Cynthia Ferrera, performing reliability testing on VO2 max fitness monitoring devices which measure the maximal intake of oxygen during exercise.
“Merrimack’s faculty make the program,” enthuses Kara. “The reason Merrimack’s health sciences programs excel is because the professors legitimately care. They’re willing to help you with whatever you need—coursework, career advice, job hunting or anything else. I haven’t seen a lot of professors who go above and beyond to that extent. They are phenomenal.”
“You have to bring yourself up a step to make yourself more marketable. Health science is always moving forward so you have to keep learning.”