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Meet the President of the CNHP Alumni Network

September 11, 2014

Meet Feruza Esanova, BSN ‘09, our very first CNHP Alumni Network President!

Feruza in ShadesQ.  Hi Feruza, tell us a little bit about your time at Drexel! When did you graduate and from what program? Do you have a favorite Drexel memory?

I graduated from Drexel in 2009 with my BSN in Nursing. My four years (I transferred from another college) at Drexel were full of different priceless learning experiences. The skills and knowledge I attained there still serve me as I progress in my career and hobbies. I served as a Dragon mentor for international students and as a president of the Undergraduate Student Nurse Organization (UNDO) for two years. My favorite recollections are some of my clinical rotations with brilliant and inspiring instructors and extracurricular activities through which I met incredibly smart, funny, kind, and great friends.

Q.  What did you do after graduation? Tell us about how you got from there to where you are now.

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was the place where I did my co-op rotations and where I realized that intensive care nursing was my calling. After graduation I started working in the cardio-thoracic (open heart) surgical intensive care unit at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. This experience was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I learned what intensive care truly is all about.

I felt so comfortable with my skills that I made the decision to challenge myself further. I moved to New York City and started working at New York Presbyterian Hospital Cornell Medical Center as an intensive care float nurse. I show up at work in the morning and got assigned to a unit, which can be any intensive care or step down unit. I like the thrill of not knowing and not being prepared but rather being challenged every time I work.

I also work at the Hospital for Special Surgeries (the #1 orthopedic hospital in the US and one of the best in the world) as a per diem nurse just for the sake of having different nursing experiences. Depending on the unit, I usually have two to four patients for whom I provide care. Every patient is unique and not only do the patients need medical care, but also psychosocial care.

I absolutely love my job! It keeps me challenged and it teaches me so many great skills that one needs in life. To give you an example: I’m on a vacation right now and my friend got hurt with a cut on his foot that turned into an infection. Together as health care professionals we performed a mini operation with limited supplies from a local pharmacy. Dealing with sick and different personalities people taught me a great deal of patience and understanding. These skills are also helping me while I’m traveling in another country with a totally different culture.

I’m responsible to keep my patients healthy and happy, which I love to do.

Q.  Do you think that Drexel prepared you for what you’re doing now?

I think it is a combination of experience at Drexel and my personality of always seeking learning and challenging opportunities. Like I mentioned before, I spent my co-op rotation at the #1 children’s hospital in the U.S. and that experience allowed me to get my first and best job, which any nurse, let alone a new graduate, can ever hope. When I applied for my position in New York City, I was not qualified for my current position at that time due to a lack of needed years of experience, but I convinced them that I not only had experience from one of the top hospitals in the U.S.; I also went to Drexel and finished two co-ops, which only a few colleges offer. They asked me if I ever considered a career in marketing and sales. We all had a good laugh and I got a new job!

Q.  Wow, you’re quite the go-getter! Where do you see yourself headed in your career? Do you have an ultimate career goal?

 I don’t have an ultimate career goal. I will never have one. I am the kind of person who cannot stand anything easy, or the same. My goals never end, I love to learn and grow at all times. I live for a challenge and I live for new experiences. I am most certainly considering my next career step. Luckily nursing allows many options to choose from and right now I’m just weighing what’s the best next move.

Q.  Do you have any advice for Drexel students and recent graduates?

Most importantly, remember that anything you want to achieve is achievable and you can make it happen. Many students want to get jobs at great institutions and have amazing careers, but most don’t realize that it never comes easily for the majority of us. I love reading and I have read many autobiographies of accomplished people who achieved many goals in life and made a difference in the world. None of these people had it easy. They all wanted what they have achieved so badly, that nothing or no one could have stopped them. Hard work, dedication, patience, organization, and love for what you do are just a few things to keep in mind as you progress in your career path.

There are no bad experiences; every experience is a great experience. You will learn something from it that one day will serve you well. Networking regardless of your major, whether are you a future businessman or doctor, is the skill that will make your life much easier. Never underestimate the power of networking and where it can lead you! I graduated in 2009 during the recession when no hospital was hiring, especially new graduates. I knocked on many, many doors just to get rejected. At the end it was a networking connection that helped me to get my job interview. Also, be creative. I actually was so creative with my approach to get an interview that I got another job offer from another top hospital in the U.S. Everything is possible and in your hands.

Q.  You’re the first President of the CNHP Alumni Network. What do you like most about that role?

This opportunity is another learning experience and great networking resource. I already know value for both of them. In general, I really enjoy volunteering and leading. Most importantly this role gives me an opportunity to launch a mentorship program, Alumni Connect. The work is in progress but this year we will try to put it into action. I went through many challenges to get where I am, and if I can do anything to help or ease that process for my fellow Drexel students I am all for it.

Q.  Why is the Alumni Network important?

It is in our genetic code that we want to feel useful and help. There are many great alumni who are ready to do just that when they are reached out to. We can’t save the world, but we can help our alumni community. It is a great networking resource. People should realize that networking does wonders and that’s one of the many reasons why they should be a part of this group. Also, I take a pride in being a part of the Drexel alumni community and want to give back.

Q.  What do you want us to know about the Alumni Network? What are the benefits of joining the Network and of getting more deeply involved?

There are many great benefits of being a member and opportunities to grow professionally and personally, the CNHP Alumni Network Alumni Connect mentorship program being one of them. The objective of this program is to provide a stimulating environment for Mentor Alumni Leaders and CNHP Student Mentees to experience self-discovery and growth, personal fulfillment and achievement through a culture of continuous learning. We also have networking social events and last year soon-to-be grads were able to connect with alumni who work at leading positions in their respective health-related fields.  We are currently working on updating our website which will give more detailed information about our work. 

Q.  What are your hopes for the CNHP Alumni Network as it continues to grow and develop?

I hope it is an organization where people can find many resources, whether it is networking or an opportunity to get personal and professional fulfillment. I also hope more alumni get involve and help us to build this amazing community. We can all benefit from each other.

Q.  Let’s finish with a fun question. Tell us something about yourself or your interests that we don’t already know!

I love traveling, exercising, yoga, volunteering, cooking, photography, and reading to name a few major interests. I’m currently writing this letter from a small island in Thailand, a ‘must’ place to visit. This year I’m very excited to run my first New York City Marathon. My motto in life:  never give up, keep growing, it is a long way to the stars!