Rachael Lurker ’20 is heading to Florida, but not for Spring Break. After she graduates in May, Lurker will be joining Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) as a management fellow.
CTCA is a national network of cancer treatment centers dedicated to a compassionate, whole-person approach to treating cancer. The fellowship is a two-year leadership acceleration program that will give Lurker hands-on experience in strategic and analytic problem solving and the opportunity to work with senior-level executives.
Lurker said she was drawn to business management because it would allow her to work in a collaborative setting while also letting her take charge and engage in some creative action. As for what attracted her specifically to CTCA, Lurker admired its business model, which centers around providing ethical care for its clients. “Healthcare has always been something I’ve been passionate about because it’s a field that directly helps people in need,” she said.
The application process was, Lurker admitted, not easy — especially while she was writing her senior thesis. In addition to submitting a résumé, letter of interest, and application form, she completed two rounds of interviews. The first was a video conference, with behavioral questions and a case study; the second was in-person at CTCA’s headquarters in Boca Raton.
Despite the challenge, Lurker was well prepared. She cites her background as a philosophy major as one of the main reasons for her success. “As part of my thesis, I had to create a philosophical argument and then defend it,” Lurker said. “In many ways a case study is exactly the same. You’re given several premises, and then you have to use them to draw a conclusion and defend it as there is no right answer.”
Hometown: St. Pete’s Beach, Fla.
High School: St. Andrew’s School
While Hamilton touts its strong writing program, Lurker says she has developed her oral communication skills as well. Her small, discussion-based classes helped her become more comfortable and learn to speak out with confidence.
With graduation soon approaching, Lurker expressed her excitement for the next step. “Like most Hamilton students, I love to learn,” she laughed. “I am really excited to learn new skills, and the opportunity to learn how to run a business and solve real-world problems is so incredible.” Adding to her excitement is the fact that she will be among a group of fellows at CTCA, which she said would be a nice transition — to enter the professional world with a group of peers to collaborate and grow with, just like at Hamilton.
When reflecting on her time on campus and how it led her to this moment, Lurker discussed her experience as a transfer student. The college where she spent her freshman year ended up not being the right fit for her, but she was scared about coming into a new school as a sophomore. But Hamilton made an effort to make her transition as smooth as possible. “There are many wonderful things about Hamilton,” Lurker said, “but what really set it apart for me was how much [the community] cared about me even before I set foot on campus.”
That sense of care and community is why she chose Hamilton and what compels her to pay it forward at CTCA.