News & Features

Tia King
Tia King is one of six MS-HT students who quickly landed employment after graduating

MS-HT's Class of 2021: Tia King

The first graduates of the Master of Science in Health Technology program in the College of Applied Health Sciences all landed jobs within four months. We spoke to some of them about why they picked MS-HT, how MS-HT helped them decide on their career, and what they most enjoyed about the program. This time we speak with Tia King.

Q: What attracted you to the University of Illinois?

A: I The attraction started in undergrad. I transferred here for the start of my junior year and fell in love with the campus and faculty. I quickly got involved with club sports and activities so, Champaign-Urbana felt like home.

Q: Why did you pick the MS-HT program?

A: The program seemed really customizable. I knew I loved healthcare but also loved the idea of designing things. It seemed like I would be able to do both of those things with this program. Also talking with (Associate Director) Nicole (Holtzclaw-Stone) prior was extremely helpful. She set up a meeting right away and answered all my questions (and continued to do so throughout the program).

Q: Did the MS-HT program help you decide a career path?

A: It really did, I thought that I wanted to be a clinical psychologist prior to this program. When I was accepted into the program, I wanted to look at athletes and wearable devices, given I had played sports my entire life. But through (Dr. Tim Hale's) courses (Human Factors and Understanding Users), I knew the route that I wanted to take was UI/UX.

Q: What did you learn that you immediately applied in your new job?

A: I almost immediately became the UX expert for our team, given that was my major focus during my time in the program. An example of some UX work I have done thus far is designing what the process should look like for customers with a prescreened offer.

Q: Did your new employer mention your MS-HT program as a reason you were hired?

A: Yes, for multiple reasons.The program was mentioned because I would bring a fresh perspective to the team, and how they view users given I was doing the FinTech field with a healthcare background (this is the case for someone else on my team too!). Something else my employer seemed interested in was the length of the program and the skills I was able to learn. And two other members on my team also attended UIUC, so maybe there is some bias there, ha!

Q: What was your favorite part of the MS-HT program?

A: LOVED Tim’s courses, because they allowed me to find my career path. I really enjoyed the team hardware project, where we built a hydraulic boot that could support patients. This was something that was completely out of my comfort zone, and difficult but I learned so much.

Q: What one thing did you take away from MS-HT that you feel was most important to your career?

A: Learning how to be collaborative. This is crucial for my role, given I have multiple meetings a day, where I have to share/update what I am doing and get feedback. This is similar to the structure of the courses we had with Tim, so this part of the job doesn’t feel overwhelming!

back to news