Thao Tran, final year Master of Health Information Management student at La Trobe University.
What is your background?
My background is actually in the optical field! I completed my Bachelor of Medical Science (Vision Science) at Flinders University and have years of optical dispensing experience in both retail and independent optometry practice environments.
What state are you from?
I am from South Australia, born and raised here. 😊
Interests and hobbies?
I am a foodie and love trying new foods and restaurants. In my spare time, I like watching TV shows and one of my all-time favourites is House M.D.
What course are you currently studying?
The course that I am currently studying is La Trobe University’s Master of Health Information Management. I am in my final year of this degree!
It is so hard to choose a favourite subject for me, because I feel like I learn something new and interesting every day at Uni!
What lead you into the Health Information Management course?
After I completed my Bachelor’s degree, I knew that I wanted to continue my education and apply for a Master degree in what interested me, which was information management. I did a lot of research online on this topic and felt like Health Information Management really aligned with my background in medical science and the subjects that I was interested in learning more about.
I soon found myself on the HIMAA website, where I could not find any accredited Health Information Management degrees within my home state. Luckily, I saw on the page that La Trobe University offered an online Master of Health Information Management degree, so I made an enquiry with the University. This led me to having a 1-on-1 meeting with Jenn, my course coordinator about the degree and the rest is history!
Highlights and challenges as a Master student?
One highlight for me would be getting the opportunity to learn transferable and relevant skills that are used in real workplaces, as well as being able to go on placements that support my learning. In the very first year of my Master degree, I had the chance to undertake a short placement in my home state (South Australia). Through placement, I was able to develop the skills that I had learnt in class with the help of my agency supervisor who was a Senior Health Information Manager with years of experience and wisdom. This placement was so valuable and led me to being offered an employment opportunity at the agency where I am constantly learning more and more about Health Information Management.
Along with this, just simply being a part of a course with supportive staff who truly care and fostering lifelong connections with my peers is such a positive experience.
I think it might be a universal experience, but finding the right balance between work, life and study is quite the challenge for me as a full-time Master student. Right now, I try my best to stay organised and set goals for myself to make sure that I am on track for all of my tasks.
Where will you be 5 years’ time? Goals and dreams?
Currently, I am very interested in informatics and data analytics, so I would like to be successfully working within these spaces to some capacity within the next 5 years. I am quite inspired by my topic coordinators, lecturers and the Health Information Managers that I have interacted with who are always so knowledgeable and willing to help their students thrive. As such, my long-term goal/dream for the future is to be constantly learning and developing my knowledge, so that I can eventually pass on this knowledge to younger generations like my mentors and teachers have done for me!