As an employee and a student of UC San Diego, I find myself in the unusual position of seeing the organization from two perspectives at once. By day, I am running meetings and teaching people about harnessing every opportunity for health and wellbeing through nutrition and lifestyle at our Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM). By night, I am a Rady MBA student learning things like business analytics, operations and management strategy. When I can connect those worlds in practical applications, things get exciting. I’ve found that the more I can link my professional and academic work, the more meaningful both become. For example, I have used my advanced analytical skills from the Rady School to better manage the data and reports I use at work. I had the opportunity to do an independent study with three other students resulting in a high-impact paper and presentation entitled Quantitative Valuation of Integrative Medicine for a Health System. I’ve even written an article about my work for the Rady Business Journal. On the flip side, the CIM’s Center for Mindfulness is now teaching Rady students meditation for stress reduction, and some of my classmates are attending our Natural Healing & Cooking program.
I am passionate about fostering true health care in our system (and in myself!) while at the same time getting the most out of my MBA at Rady, which means ‘giving my all’ to both. By finding the overlap, I have not only maximized my time and energy, but also found focus in an area that renews me on multiple levels. But what really makes everything synchronize so seamlessly — beyond the amazing state-of-the art facilities and resources at Rady — is the support of my classmates and professors, my boss, my coworkers, and my loved ones. Not only have they made it possible for me to accomplish so much at the same time, but also, maybe most importantly, they have made it fun.
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Lauray MacElhern (’16) is the Managing Director of the UC San Diego (UCSD) Center for Integrative Medicine and co-founder of the UCSD Natural Healing and Cooking program. She also serves as Clinical Co-chair of the national organization, the Academic Consortium of Integrative Medicine and Health. Lauray earned her Bachelor’s degree majoring in communication and commerce through coursework in the Wharton School and Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.