Student Spotlight – Sara Prendergast

By | March 21, 2024

Welcome to our student blog spotlight! In the first post of this new feature, we are excited to introduce you to Sara Prendergast, a dedicated Healthcare Management major at Stonehill College. Stonehill College is the inaugural educational partner for HFMA. This collaboration highlights the college’s dedication to preparing future leaders in healthcare finance, who will drive innovation and progress in the industry.

Why did you choose Stonehill College?

I chose Stonehill College because it was the school that resonated with me in feeling and logistically. I loved the beautiful campus and the fact it was the right size and only an hour away from home. Stonehill is also one of the only schools with an AUPHA-certified healthcare management program, so it felt like the right fit for me.

Why did you select your major?

In high school, I was fortunately able to take both business classes as well as some upper-level science classes and I liked both. However, I did not see myself working in a clinical setting and physically touching patients but still wanted to help people. In addition, I competed in DECA competitions,  which is a club that prepares you for competing against other schools by role-playing business scenarios which I enjoyed and found success. In my college search, I came across the healthcare management major and thought it combined my two interests in which I could still be a part of or work in a healthcare setting but within the business aspect.

Is there a particular class that has made a great impact on you and why?

I am currently taking Understanding Health Disparities which is a health science course that highlights how the social determinants of health play a role in our health outcomes. The conversations in the class highlight some of the ways the healthcare system has failed to see the bigger picture of why different people are sick. I hope that someday I can use this information in combination with data analysis to make a difference in the healthcare industry.

What is your favorite project you’ve worked on, in class or at an internship?

One of my favorite projects was in my healthcare finance course, in which we had to come up with a healthcare business. This meant we had to do research into what the finances would look like to start a business and the different criteria that the setting might need. My group and I chose to develop a memory care-focused nursing home located in the Boston area, which posed many challenges but allowed us to be creative and take risks in how we would try to make our business successful. Each group at the end of the presentations voted on whose business the class should “invest” in and our group won which was satisfying and was a project I was proud of.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Growing up I had high expectations for myself coming up with something new when people would ask but usually somewhere along the lines of anywhere between a neurosurgeon to a veterinarian.

What activities are you involved in? 

On campus, I am the treasurer of the Healthcare Society club, in which I help plan our alumni networking events and work with the other e-board members to support students in our Healthcare Management major to learn about career opportunities. In addition, I am a member of the Finance Committee where we meet to approve club budgets based on certain criteria and allocate funding for year-long budgets as well. For work, I currently intern with the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health as a Data maintenance intern remotely, and in addition, I am a crew member at the Dunkin’ on campus.  For fun, I am on an intramural pickleball team with my friends and participate in Dance club.

What is one thing or fun fact people can’t Google about you?

I recently learned how to ski after living in New England all my life. I am not very good but I am having lots of fun!