Carissa Buurstra

Carissa Buurstra

M.S., Health and Wellness Management, 2017
Current Job: Wellness Program Specialist II
Akamai Technologies

Dreaming big

Carissa Buurstra has always had big dreams for herself, so she decided to earn her master’s degree in health and wellness management to give her a competitive edge in the up-and-coming health and wellness industry.

As a result, Carissa now has her dream job in corporate wellness as the Senior Wellness Program Administrator for Akamai Technologies, Inc. She has her hands in a little bit of everything in her position, from planning wellness events to creating and implementing wellness changes in the office.

“Merrimack is such a supportive community. I spent so much time bonding with my classmates in the grad lounge and in my professors’ offices getting school (and life) advice. The community is definitely the best part about Merrimack; you can’t beat it,” Carissa says.

Carissa selected to attend Merrimack for her master’s because it was the only institution on the east coast that offered this unique health and wellness program which combines exercise science and business management.

Carissa says she found that the supportive faculty at Merrimack was key to her success story.

“You’ll find that the faculty really care about you. They want you to succeed in every way possible.”

Busy but worth it

Although her daily schedule was hectic, Carissa pushed through it with her impressive time management skills.  She made it her mission to complete as many workshops, certifications and new skills training as possible – and it paid off in a big way.

“It was difficult, I’m not going to lie. As long as you’re organized, I’m confident that you can get your work done.”

For future health sciences graduate students at Merrimack, Carissa has some very important advice.

“Get your work done and connect with as many people as possible. Get out of your comfort zone because you never know where a conversation may lead – mine led to an amazing job!”