Lauren Bernstein “Is the Nursing program challenging enough? Okay. I’m working harder now than I ever did when I got my Master’s.”

A Master’s degree. A swank job as the marketing manager for an Internet company. A bright financial future…. Naah, that just isn’t what Lauren Bernstein is about. “I did like marketing. But I just didn’t want to pursue the MBA and didn’t feel like being in the business world anymore. So I turned that around. I decided to switch careers, start taking my science classes….” And the rest of Lauren’s story is being written at SMC. She’ll still be in marketing—but in her new incarnation: ‘marketing’ health.

“When I’m done studying, I’ll have a Master’s as a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist),” she explains. “My dad’s a doctor, so I’m familiar with the surgery room and I like that clean environment. And to be honest, being a nurse is just not enough for me. I need more autonomy, responsibility, and control.” While transitioning between careers, Lauren reports that online and night classes have proven invaluable to her as a working woman.

“Probably the first classes I took were night classes in philosophy and math. And they were just fine,” she recalls. “There’s absolutely no feeling that night school is, in any way, a second-tier education. In fact,” she continues, “I’m taking an online class in pharmacology now, which I had more than a little trepidation about. But now I wouldn’t do it any other way. It’s awesome!” And Lauren, a worldly, accomplished businesswoman, transitioning returning student, and raconteur, has this to add: “I grew up in the Palisades when SMC was kind of a ‘cute’ place to be. That’s just no longer true. This college is now a very serious place to study.”

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.