Alumni Q&A: A Discussion on Achieving Career Goals with Emily Yarish

March 27, 2024

Emily Yarish (SCI ’18, KATZ '22) is an Epic systems analyst at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and a member of the SCI Alumni Board. After earning her bachelor’s in information science at SCI, Yarish earned her master’s degree in management information systems from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at Pitt. In her role as an EpicCare ambulatory and wisdom analyst, she applies her technology knowledge and skills to make meaningful change in the healthcare field. Yarish is passionate about continuing to learn and grow as she’s explored her career path.

Q: Tell me a bit about your current role at UPMC as a systems analyst.

A: Right now, I am working on the UPMC Bridges project. We are combining all of our electronic health records into one system. It's the biggest project I have ever been part of, around 600 IT analysts. Just going into work every day and working on a project like this is really exciting. Since an implementation of this scale is so new to everyone, we are all learning together. Every single day is different. I am on the ambulatory medicine specialty implementation team, so I am in charge of bringing our clinics live on our new health record for dental, neurology, sleep, and pulmonology. Not only will I be in charge of support eventually, but also currently gathering clinical requirements, then taking those requirements and building them in our new EHR instance, then finally testing and training for go-live. I am so lucky to be a small part of this project, and I really mean that.


Q: What is your favorite thing about your field/profession?

A: I love change. I also love challenges. I knew joining the Bridges project would give me an opportunity to see both of those things on a daily basis, and so far, it hasn't disappointed me. I decided to make a big career change in September of 2023, leaving cybersecurity, the field I had been working in for years, to take this role in Bridges. I had no experience, so it was definitely a learning curve for me. Luckily my team was incredibly supportive and knowledgeable. One of the biggest reasons I started working in healthcare IT was because I knew I wanted a job where I felt my work made a difference. Here on Bridges, I am able to see those impacts real time, as physicians and clinical staff help craft a brand new EHR system for all of UPMC to use. When I go to the doctor, I will see the work I have been doing in practice. Healthcare IT is really rewarding.


Q: How can students at SCI find success after graduation?

A: I always tell students to bet on themselves. Especially when job searching, you only need to put yourself in the running. See a job posting you may not feel like you're the best fit for, but it seems like your dream job? Apply. They're going to hire someone, maybe it is going to be you, and you never know unless you try. I also always caution students about comparing themselves to others. You are on your own path, forge it in time. Your life is not the same as anyone else's, so having differing experiences or jobs or internships is 100% okay. You are unique for a reason, and don't let intimidation hold you back from your successes.


Q: What is one thing you wish you would have known as an undergraduate student at SCI?

A: Don't discount the importance of professional networking, especially with your professors. Don't sweat the small stuff, it won't matter in a few years. You know so much more than you think you do. Your college degree teaches you how to learn, and important baseline skills for your career. In your job, you put that learning to practice. No one knows everything on their first day of work, so don't panic!


Q: What new goals are you looking to achieve in your work in the future?

A: I want to be a manager in industry. I am so passionate about helping others complete their goals and succeed. I think that comes from having good managers when I started at UPMC, and knowing how greatly that has impacted me through the years. Driving strategic decisions and operational processes seems like the perfect role for my skills. Otherwise, I really want to be a part-time professor. I have such a passion (especially being a "young" graduate) for helping students, especially after recently graduating myself and seeing some skill gaps I had. I also think my varying experiences from my job provides a unique opportunity for students in the information systems/project management type majors. I really think I can make an impact as a part-time faculty at an institution, so I am looking forward to hopefully making that dream a reality in the future.

Learn more about Emily Yarish and her work here.


--Alyssa Morales