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Meet an Ambassador – with Shiva Bakhtiyari

Entering my senior year, I have definitely been feeling a sense of nostalgia. Nostalgia mainly from the fact that in May I will not be in the same routine I have been in the past four years. But the nostalgia also stems from reflecting on the person I was my first day of UNC to who I am and hope to become after I leave UNC.

Just some background I am pursuing a B.S. in Health Policy and Management from the Gillings School of Global Health as well as an Entrepreneurship Minor through the Shuford Program. One of the most integral experiences that has transformed who I am and my aspirations post graduation has been the Shuford Program. I started my journey in the Program my sophomore year with ECON 125. The course was taught by Buck Goldstein and Bernard Bell (someone who later became a key support figure for me).

Following the track, I was able to meet many great students and entrepreneurs. The courses and experiential opportunities allowed me to develop my perspective on what truly defines innovation and how can we change our mindsets to seek out solutions. One of the most unique experiences I had with the Shuford Program was my time with fellow E-Minor Students in Atlanta. This trip was led by Bernard Bell and Ishna Hall and organized by the Shuford Advisory Board. The Carolina Alumni we met were so inspiring to me and showed me the reach UNC Entrepreneurs have.

Another key alumni member / entrepreneur who supported me this past semester was Jan Davis, my ECON 327 professor. She led me into the direction of my past summer internship with Bluedoor Group and Digital Health Institute for Transformation.

Bluedoor Group is a full service digital health agency providing strategy and execution. They work across the healthcare ecosystem from startups to multinationals to facilitate innovation and solve common healthcare problems. I also worked with their sister organization DHIT – Digital Health Institute for Transformation. DHIT is social purpose venture dedicated to driving healthcare transformation through our digital health impact platform.

Upon my second day of the Internship I was attending Client Discovery Workshops and participating in the organization’s daily huddles. I was challenged with new tasks every day and was able to see the required flexibility and tenacity that comes with working with a startup that is building their brand and their vision.

My involvement also included assisting with events and helping to market who/what Bluedoor and DHIT are. I found myself more fascinated and curious about the Digital Health Landscape and was passionate about the work that the organizations were doing. Working with the Bluedoor / DHIT and the other members of the Digital Health space has been a very enjoyable and enlightening experience. I have grown to appreciate the importance of innovation diversity in healthcare options, the creativity in meeting needs, and the passion entrepreneurs have in cultivating a new way of establishing  processes.

The Shuford Program truly has been an invaluable opportunity to me. As a result, I feel better prepared to incorporate authenticity and an innovative mindset toward whatever path I choose to go down.

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