May Spotlight: Zoe Marquis-Kelly

Zoe's headshot

Zoe Marquis-Kelly is the Administrative and Data Coordinator in the Pre-Health Student Resource Center. She works to collect and synthesize data concerning the University of Minnesota’s pre-health student population, as well as scheduling pre-health courses and helping with office operations. Before coming to the PHSRC, she spent 2 years in France as an English-language teaching assistant in middle and high school through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). Before her travels, she worked in the Office of Academic Programs at the UMN School of Nursing. Zoe has a liberal arts background and graduated from St. Olaf College with bachelor’s degrees in History and French.

Prior to coming to the PHSRC, you were the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Placement Coordinator in the UMN School of Nursing! Are there any perspectives on clinical placements, or the placement process, that you'd have for students interested in pursuing a DNP?

That’s a great question! My time as DNP coordinator really taught me the importance of clinical placements for healthcare students. It also showed me how competitive the process is to find a placement in today’s healthcare environment. My biggest recommendation for any student looking to apply to health professional schools is to ask whether or not the schools you are applying to have a dedicated staff member(s) that facilitates clinical placements. This can be really valuable! Additionally, networking with health professionals whenever possible is key, as personal relationships can give students more opportunities for clinical rotations.

You've spent two years teaching English in France. How was this experience valuable for you?

My time in France allowed me to leave my comfort zone in a lot of ways. Not only did I have to navigate a different language, but also a different culture and environment. This experience gave me the opportunity to further reflect on my own culture and how it shapes my outlook on life. Plus, I was able to practice my French!

The PHSRC encourages students to reflect on the experiences they've had, or will have, that'll help them build the competencies needed for their health profession. Even though you're not applying to a health program, did spending time abroad help you build any of these core competencies for entering medical students, for example? How so?

I think the biggest takeaway I have from my time in France is increased cultural competence. Not only am I more aware of my own culture, I gained massive respect for those who choose or are forced to live in a country that has different practices, traditions, and languages than their own. I believe this experience has made me a more empathetic person, which in turn increased my service orientation and social skills. I would definitely recommend a global immersion experience for any future health professionals who are interested!