Laya Mohan (2017 BA in Communication, 2020 MA in Communication)
Associate Project Manager at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in Winston-Salem, NC
Tell us about your current job role and employer. What are you currently working on?
I currently work for Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist as a Project Manager in the CTSI (Clinical and Translational Science Institute). In addition, I work in tandem with Wake Forest Center for Biomedical Informatics by marketing and managing various core faculty projects, courses, and research. I also work with Informatics Team programmers to market and inform Wake Forest researchers of newly developed tools and resources to enhance their research. Lastly, I coordinate with external researchers for collaboration, brings guest speakers to lecture, and plans large scale events within the Center.
What key personal and/or career experiences led you to where you are today?
I landed my current job during the pandemic. Landing this job was difficult as not many places were hiring.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job? How do you navigate that challenge?
I think the most challenging part of my first “real world job” was learning to set boundaries. I started to become someone who said ‘Yes!’ enthusiastically as soon as any project came up, even if it was something I was not interested in. It made work difficult, and took a toll the quality of the work I delivered as I scrambled to get the job done. I learned that it is okay to say ‘No’, and I learned to prioritize the tasks assigned to me.
What advice would you give to Wake Forest graduates about developing their personal life habits after college (finances, health, values, work/life balance)?
“There is food at home” – This line has saved me so much money. It is so easy to just order takeout or UberEats when you are not feeling up to cooking. Meal prepping tasty and healthy dishes can encourage you to go through your groceries and save hundreds of dollars. Trust me when I say that veggies go bad quicker when you are the one who bought them.
How have you made personal and professional relationships in your city, company, or community?
Making friends as adult is extremely difficult. You are not in forced social situations, such as in school or extracurricular activities, to meet new people. With that in mind, COVID did not make it any easier. It is important to put yourself out there and make connections where you can. It can be as simple as getting lunch with a co-worker or meeting someone new at a community event of interest. Whichever way you choose, the important thing is to put yourself out there.
Tell us about your mentoring relationships. What impact have these relationships had on your career and life?
My most recent mentor is my current boss at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist. She always sees the best in me and chooses projects that will challenge me as a project manager. This relationship has allowed me to see what my next steps would be in my company and my growth potential.
What advice would you give to current Wake Forest students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional job?
Don’t be afraid to go out of your comfort zone! You never know if you like something if you do not try it. A lot of jobs will ask for basic requirements, but they may hire someone who is willing to learn and has the potential to learn quickly. As long as you are willing to put in the effort and the labor, then the sky is the limit.
What’s next for your career? What future goals or plans are you pursuing?
Currently I am working on a second master’s degree in Health Informatics and Analytics. My current role at the Center for Biomedical Informatics helped solidify this new path for me. Even though my education is on the communication side, I enjoyed the chance to explore new paths and found something that I also enjoy in a completely different field.
Story published in November 2021. For current updates about Laya, visit her LinkedIn page.