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The Pleasures of Problem-Solving and a Job Down Under


Rachel Sobel ’15 travels a lot — California, New York, Florida, you name a part of the U.S. and she’s probably been there — in her position as a project manager for Epic Systems Corporation, a health-systems software company.

Sobel travels to work with customers, helping them to implement Epic software, strategize about how to meet their needs, and train their IT teams in the new tools. And if that sounds light years away from her dual majors in biochemistry and women’s and gender studies, consider this: The chance to problem solve, which she does daily with customers, drew her to the work. Sobel says Hamilton taught her to think through problems logically and to question the status quo.

“I think the logical problem-solving happened a lot because of my biochemistry major, but I think challenging the status quo and also thinking through things from the starting premise really came from my women’s study major,” Sobel says. “And I think the two of them together work very well, and had I not had both I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities to learn and to grow.”

Entering Hamilton, Sobel planned to follow a premed route and become a physician. Along the way she fell in love with women’s studies. She was selected to be a student representative of the American Chemical Society at a United Nations climate change convention in Poland, and she spent a summer on campus researching BPA levels in bottles and cans.

After job shadowing a few doctors, however, Sobel decided being a physician wasn’t the career for her, but she remained interested in the health-care sector. When she learned about an opportunity at Epic, she decided to check it out even though such a career had never been part of the plan. Interviewing at Epic, she loved the job and the campus. Sobel made the leap into the unanticipated field. She says she’s learned to be open to opportunities that arise in unexpected places.

Now Sobel is about to embark on another career-related opportunity — Epic is sending her to Australia for 18 months. “I’m looking forward to it — a lot. It’s going to be exciting, but also challenging,” she says.

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