When Sean Kelly sensed he needed a change in career direction, he came to Adelphi. Through our Emergency Management program, he's landed a job with the Mount Sinai Health System.

Whenever there is a disaster, natural or otherwise, we take for granted that trained individuals will be on the ground addressing the emergency. We might think primarily of police and fire personnel in such situations, but there are others on the job making sure that plans are coordinated, implemented and communicated effectively. These individuals are part of the developing field of Emergency Management, an area of study at Adelphi that captured the interest of Sean Kelly.

Kelly graduated college in 2004 and had worked mostly in advertising sales in the years that followed. By 2014, he had reached a turning point in his life.

“I didn’t see the longevity there for me,” he said. “I felt like every manager was quoting Glengarry Glen Ross like they didn’t see the end of that movie. I decided that I wanted to do something where I could make a tangible difference.”

Kelly made the decision to return to school after being away from academia for over 10 years. The transition was difficult, but manageable.

“Once I got over the initial shock, it wasn’t too bad, but I definitely appreciated the help,” he said. He credits Meghan McPherson, Assistant Director of the Center for Health Innovation (CHI) and Emergency Management faculty member, with easing the transition.

“She’s one of those incredibly infectious personalities,” Kelly said. “I walked out of the office after meeting with her for the first time excited about the program. She’s been an incredible help during my entire time at Adelphi.”

Kelly’s interest in Emergency Management developed close to home.

“I have family friends who work in the field,” he said. “From asking around, I got a good basis of what they do and how they like it,” he said.

The great challenge of returning to school for Kelly was fitting it into a schedule packed solid with work commitments.

“I was working two to three jobs at the time,” he said. “At one point, I was working seven days a week.”

Kelly discovered that he could take his degree on his own time by studying at home through the program’s online courses.

“It worked out great for me. I had time on Thursday and Friday during the day, and that became my regular time to get my schoolwork done,” he said. “It was also nice attending class in my pajamas!”

Although Kelly was initially worried that online classwork would make him feel isolated, the opposite proved to be the case.

“I was actually surprised at how much interaction there was in a lot of these classes,” he said.

Through Adelphi’s Emergency Management program, Kelly eventually landed an internship with the Mount Sinai Health System. He has since been hired as full-time emergency management staff at the hospital. Kelly credits Adelphi for helping him to achieve a major life change that seemed impossible three years ago.

“I’m certainly glad I attended Adelphi,” he said. “It’s nice to work somewhere where the purpose of your job is doing something positive.”

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