Class of 2019: Healthcare Management Program Combines Grad’s 2 Loves

Editor’s Note: Every Comet follows a distinct path to UT Dallas, and members of the Class of 2019 are no exception. A few soon-to-be fall graduates shared their thoughts about their journeys as they get ready to tackle new challenges after commencement.

Larissa Hagge

UT Dallas senior Larissa Hagge has long dreamed of a career in which she could combine her two passions: health care and management.

A native of Rio de Janeiro and a graduate of Naaman Forest High School in Garland, Texas, Hagge earned her pharmacy technician certification at Richland College, followed by an associate’s degree in business administration and management at Collin College. As a pharmacy tech, she was exposed to a variety of positions in a hospital. Hagge began searching for a degree program that emphasized both health care and management and found it at UT Dallas.

As a junior, Hagge joined the healthcare management program in the Naveen Jindal School of Management. She quickly took advantage of educational and networking opportunities through the North Texas chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives and UTD’s Healthcare Management Association student organization.

She completed internships as a community advocate at Baylor University Medical Center and as a pharmaceutical sales representative at Eli Lilly and Co. Hagge is currently interviewing for positions in which she can mentor both patients and employees. She also is fast tracking to an MS/MBA in healthcare leadership and management in the Jindal School.

What will you miss most about being an undergraduate at UTD?

The atmosphere. It is hard to explain, but I’ll try. Here, people are allowed to hope and to dream, and the bigger the dream the better. In the outside world, people are so concentrated on their failures and barriers, but here, the students, professors and faculty are focused on changing the future for the better — independent of the obstacles.

Would you rather have to retake a final exam or be Temoc for a day?

Be Temoc for a day. I love to love people, and that is what Temoc does. He welcomes everyone with hugs and has a constant smile on his face.

What is a fun fact about you?

I’m Brazilian, and I speak three languages: English, Portuguese and Spanish.

What are the best ways to survive a Monday?

Be positive, have a plan B, and allow yourself to not accomplish everything that you had in mind to do.

What’s the most Instragammable spot on campus?

The magnolia-lined reflecting pools that run along the Margaret McDermott Mall. It’s my favorite place on campus.

What’s the first thing you’ll do to celebrate graduation?

Enjoy lunch with my family, and then the next day I will have the final round of an interview for a position that I badly want.

What accomplishment/project are you most proud of from your time at UTD?

I was the vice president for the Healthcare Management Association for the 2018 academic year. I felt so proud of what my group of officers and I accomplished. We increased the number of members and events and grew our professional network. We did our best to serve our students.

UT Dallas alumni make their mark wherever they go. How will you make yours?

It might sound cheesy, but I have the goal of improving our health care system while also improving the lives of people who work with me. One patient at a time; one co-worker at a time. I also want to repay what has been done for me. I want to come back to UT Dallas and invest in the lives of the students here, as the faculty and staff in the Jindal School have invested in me. I was also mentored and supported by great alumni, including Fallon Wallace MS’15, MBA’15 and Salman Moti MS’11, MBA’16, among others.


Class of 2019

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Communication Disorders Grad Finds Right Balance at UTD

PhD Lights Way for Women To Pursue Computer Science

ATEC Graduate Relishes Quest in Video Game Design

From Military to Medicine, Grad Discovers His Life’s Duty

Biology Graduate Builds Career Path in Public Health

Economics Grad Demonstrates High Degree of Diligence

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].