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Administrative Coordinator for the Department of Neurology / Columbia University Medical Center

Kathie Horwath

Katie Horwath

  • Job Title/Company: Administrative Coordinator for the Department of Neurology / Columbia University Medical Center
  • (Undergraduate) Graduation Year: 2017
  • Neuroscience Major: General

What is your role currently? What do your day-to-day tasks look like?

I currently work as the Administrative Coordinator for the Center for Translational and Computational Neuroimmunology at Columbia University Medical Center.

I work directly under the Neuroimmunology division chief: supporting managerial, professional, and supervisory staff and directing coordination of specific administrative support projects and operations. This includes coordinating schedules of professors, staff, and visiting scholars; managing supplies and equipment; planning conferences; and grant assembly. Although a large majority of my work is administrative, I also get to work with our Multiple Sclerosis clinic, acting as a liaison between the business office, doctor’s private office, and outside physicians. Finally, I assist our division chief with the fellowship program and interviewing visiting professors, and work with the different business offices on sponsor payments and contracts to ensure our research can take place.

How did your education within the School of Neuroscience prepare you for your current role?

The School of Neuroscience prepared me by giving me the background scientific knowledge necessary to understand what my center’s research is about and why it’s so important (MS, neuroimmunology). My academic experiences gave me the foundation to succeed in a neuro-oriented environment. My experiences as a Neuroscience major also taught me how to communicate data and information to scholars and senior management.

Katie Howath

What are your ultimate career goals? When you first started college, was this your first career choice?

When I was a freshman in my undergrad I wanted to go to PA school because I had shadowed doctors and PA’s, and really enjoyed the fast-paced environment of a hospital. As I progressed through my undergraduate degree, my own curiosity drew me to neuroscience specifically, and I enjoyed learning the mechanics behind human behavior. I found myself interning in administrative roles rather than research-related roles during the summers, and loved the planning and logistical aspect of it. My love of neuroscience and logistics is what brought me to my current role. My ultimate career goal is to work in healthcare administration, either in biotechnology or a hospital setting. I, like many, have seen the field of healthcare fail friends and loved ones, and I hope to contribute to the improvement of this field either through technology or policy. I believe the next step towards this goal will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Administration and/or Public Health.

What recommendations would you give to current or prospective students?

Don’t feel compelled to follow the same “traditional” track as everyone else in your field - carve a new niche, chase what interests you.