For Renuka Rupee, Berkeley’s personal approach to education led to a caring career in healthcare

Even as a child in Guyana, Renuka Rupee envisioned a future in the healthcare field. After seeing the success of her older sister Vedika, who earned three different degrees from Berkeley College, it was natural decision that she would check out the programs in the College’s School of Health Studies. “From my very first visit, I felt at home right away,” she remembered. “I fell in love with the Patient Care Technician program, and I could see that it was perfect for me. It exposed me to so many different areas of healthcare and I was able to get certified in phlebotomy, EKG, and other important skills.”

Close, personal attention

Renuka was also attracted to Berkeley’s approach to career education. “It really felt like a family atmosphere,” she said. “I liked the small, career-focused classes where I was able to get more one-on-one interaction with my professors that I wouldn’t have gotten in a giant lecture hall at a larger school. The professors were really there for us when we needed help. They wanted to see us succeed.”

Building relationships and networking

Through the Federal Work Study program, Renuka also worked part-time as a student aide in the High School Admissions department. “Working within the College made the experience even more enjoyable,” she recalled. “I built so many great relationships and also made great networking connections.”

Finding her passion

“The classes were challenging, but the instruction was excellent,” Renuka said. “The hands-on clinical experiences we had were very helpful. Working in the emergency room during clinicals made a big impression on me and I knew I wanted to work there. Shortly after graduation, I got my first job in the ER at St. Joseph’s Medical Center! Everyone in the Career Services department was so helpful.”

Working in the ER is extremely fast-paced Renuka pointed out. “We see everything—from minor injuries to very critical cases and it can be very emotional. The ER is a unit where you need to show compassion and empathy, and at the same time, you need to have control over your emotions and stay focused. Communication with staff, patients, and their families is also very important.”

Adding credentials, expanding her career possibilities

Renuka is also working toward her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree and hopes to work as a Registered Nurse in the ER or possibly specialize in pediatrics or oncology. She’s even thinking about returning to Berkeley for a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree, which could expand her career option even further.

Considering a career in healthcare?

For those considering a career in healthcare, Renuka offered some wise advice. “Explore your options. Even if everyone is telling you about going away to school at a big university, it may not be right for you. Don’t be hesitant to ask questions and speak with advisors. Look closely into the programs and support that schools offer, even programs for alumni like Berkeley offers.”

“Berkeley College is the reason I’m on the path I’m on right now,” Renuka proudly stated. And in today’s world, it’s a path we can all admire.

The views and/or opinions in this article are those of the individuals interviewed. The academic achievements and/or employment outcomes described in this article are specific to each individual and are not a guarantee of similar results for past or current students. For up-to-date and detailed information, please visit and view our catalogs at

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