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Pulse - Summer/Fall 2021 Get to Know Karen Shulik

Welcome to Get to Know…, a new feature of Pulse, in which we introduce you to someone you might not interact with in your day-to-day life at Drexel. If you’d like to let us get to know you, email

Karen Shulik

Who are you, and what is your current title?

My name is Karen Shulik, and my official title is Program Coordinator II, Career Advising.

Explain what you do in under 50 words.

I work as part of the Office of Student Affairs and Career Advising to provide support and specialty exploration opportunities for our medical students through programming and one-on-one advising. Generally, I serve as an adviser to our pre-clerkship medical students in their first and second years at Drexel.

Who do you interact with most on a daily basis? Students? Faculty? Other staff members?

Most of my interactions involve serving as a liaison between our students and the Office of Student Affairs and Career Advising, as well as other staff and faculty. It is my job to prepare programming and assist students, which requires a strong relationship and communication among all parties to provide the best resources and opportunities for our students.

What is your typical day like?

It can depend greatly on the day. Most of my time is spent sitting at my desk working on projects, answering emails or attending meetings (in person and virtually). I assist with large-scale events from our department, so on days such as Commencement, White Coat, Match Day, etc. I can go a whole day without sitting down, walking miles around a venue for set-up and coordination.

How do you see your work fitting into the big picture of the mission of the College?

I think my role is very central to the mission of the College of Medicine. The point of the MD program is to produce well-rounded, prepared and successful physicians, and career advising plays a large role in that. First- and second-year medical students come to me for individual advising at various stages in their career planning. Some students have known what they want to do since they were 5. Others have been exposed to limited specialties and are unsure where they want to end up. I meet with students no matter where they are on that spectrum. I advise students on extracurricular involvement, including leadership, community service and research, all of which can be very important to their residency application as a fourth-year student. I also am there to serve as a reassuring ear to their concerns and to debunk some of the myths they may have come into medical school believing.

What are your favorite and least favorite tasks?

My favorite part of the position is interacting one on one with students in career planning. I am a trained librarian, and this position allows me to use my reference skills and guide students to resources. I am generally a quiet and reserved person, so I am not always confident in my public speaking during programming. I like that this position challenges me to improve on those skills.

What is your educational background? How did it prepare you for what you do now?

I hold a BS in history with a minor in agricultural science from Truman State University in Missouri. I then earned a master’s in library science with a concentration in archives management from Simmons College in Massachusetts. My educational background has prepared me for the required information management and dissemination I use every day in my job.

When you were working on site, did you bring your own lunch or eat out?

I work at the Queen Lane Campus, whose location provides very few lunch options besides the cafeteria. I almost exclusively bring my own lunch every day, as it is easier and saves money.

What’s one unusual or unexpected item in your home or office work space?

While working remotely, I have a cat colleague who often tries to lie across my computer to assist with productivity, though I feel like that has been an often-shared experience during the pandemic. At my office I have a small Eeyore figurine I received from my family, as they make fun of my ho-hum attitude.

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