Conflict, Consulting, and Change
PROVO, Utah – Oct 07, 2022 – The impact of growing up in Palestine sparked a desire in Zein Mosarsaa to work in healthcare. She saw how vital life-saving services were for those injured in a war that was fought close to her home. However, Mosarsaa did not decide which specific medical career to pursue until her recent student internship at the Ballard Center for Social Impact at the BYU Marriott School of Business.
Initially, Mosarsaa planned to be a dermatologist, spurred by a surprising realization she had in high school. “Dermatology became a passion of mine when I had acne, and Palestine didn’t have any dermatologists,” she explains. “My people already go through so much insecurity; why have one extra thing to be insecure about? So I wanted to become a dermatologist to help in any way that I could. Plus I grew up in a war zone, so I always knew more healthcare and medical workers were something Palestinians needed.”
After researching college options, Mosarsaa decided to move to the United States and attend BYU. Her plan was to complete a bachelor’s degree in bioinformatics as a stepping-stone to medical school, and BYU was one of the only universities that offered such a program. The bioinformatics major combines genetics and molecular biology with computer science, another passion of Mosarsaa’s. However, once she began taking classes, Mosarsaa realized that even though she had a passion for making dermatology more accessible, she did not necessarily enjoy the day-to-day practice of the profession.
“As I was studying bioinformatics, I had opportunities to see what being a dermatologist is actually like. I realized I wouldn’t wake up every morning wanting to go to work,” Mosarsaa says. “I felt because of that I should look into something else with computer science and medicine.” Her subsequent exploration led Mosarsaa to the BYU Marriott information systems (IS) program. She is currently taking the major’s prerequisite classes with plans to apply for the program.
Even though she switched majors, Mosarsaa did not abandon her healthcare aspirations. Her current plan is to use the IS skills she gains to be a medical consultant for groups such as refugee organizations. To make sure this new path was right for her, Mosarsaa enrolled in a social impact project (SIP) through the Ballard Center. The course pairs students with companies working to create solutions for various issues around the world.
Mosarsaa and a team of fellow students were assigned to work for HealEx, a company dedicated to helping human trafficking survivors receive appropriate medical attention. The student team created training and other resources to help doctors recognize when a patient was a victim of trafficking, allowing for more sensitive and relevant care. Mosarsaa says the SIP was exactly what she needed to lock down her path forward in healthcare.
“I wanted to see how I would do in consulting situations,” she explains. “Having a hands-on experience verified what I wanted to do with my future as I realized how big my impact can be with consulting. Understanding how I can make a mark with my IS major and offer my knowledge and skills to companies and businesses was impactful for me.”
In addition to solidifying her career goals, Mosarsaa’s experience with HealEx helped her gain valuable business experience. She now has a better understanding of how companies and projects function, knowledge that she developed because team members were allowed to address the problem presented and come up with their own solutions like real-world consultants.
Mosarsaa looks forward to entering BYU Marriott’s IS program and continuing to prepare for her career. The junior appreciates how the Ballard Center helped her find a route that she thoroughly enjoys and allows her to meet her career goals. Because the center was so impactful, Mosarsaa plans to keep participating in SIPs.
“My time with the Ballard Center has definitely not ended,” she says. “I plan to continue to offer my services to different organizations and businesses so that I can help others have access to better healthcare.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Mike Miller