STEM Student Discovers Career Development Opportunities

Dominique Paje's UMKC experiences are leading to her dream career in healthcare
Dominique Paje, a Filipino female, sits in the library

Our ongoing story starts with people from around the world, converging here at UMKC. Get to know our people and you’ll know what UMKC is all about.

Dominique Paje
Anticipated graduation date:
Joplin, Missouri; immigrated from the Philippines
Academic program: Chemistry and Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences

Why did you choose your field of study?

I’ve always known I wanted to work in health care so I chose chemistry as a pre-professional degree, but I also love the field of psychology. It’s fascinating to learn how and why people think the way they do, what their motivations are and the theories behind it.

Dominique Paje, a female student at UMKC, stands in the stairwell.
What have you learned since entering college?

Because I have majors in both STEM and the arts, my education has been very well rounded. As a result, I not only have gained numerous worldly perspectives, but I’ve also been surrounded by a diverse group of people and interests throughout my time in undergrad. I’ve had several awe-inspiring faculty mentors, and from them I’ve learned that there isn’t one cookie-cutter way towards making the world a better place, but it’s each individual’s determination to do so.

What internships or professional experiences have you had while at UMKC?

Over the summer, I was selected to participate in the Bluford Healthcare Leadership Institute. It’s a two-week career development program for ethnic minority students. Through this opportunity, I was exposed to the ever-growing disparities in health as well as the complexities of health-care policy and administration. I absolutely loved every moment of my internship. It opened my eyes to so many different opportunities to make an impact in people’s lives through leadership in health care.

I’ve also been selected as one of two legislative interns who will represent the UM system students next spring to our state legislators in Jefferson City. I’ve always loved reading and analyzing policy, healthcare or otherwise, and I’m excited to finally be able to take part in it.

"I absolutely loved every moment of my internship. It opened my eyes to so many different opportunities to make an impact in people’s lives through leadership in health care."

Dominique Paje standing in a stairwell

What are your lifelong goals?

No matter what I do, I want to be in health care. I’ve always wanted to be in health care. Eventually run a hospital, preferably in underserved areas because that’s where help is needed most. It’s a goal that has kept me focused. And if I had to pick a motto that guides me, it would have to be one of my favorite quotes from Meryl Streep: “Put blinders onto those things that conspire to hold you back, especially the ones in your own head.”



I chose UMKC because of its vibrant and diverse community, its size, and its location in the heart of Kansas City. I also knew I wanted to be close to my family but far enough to where I can grow and learn how to be independent. I love Kansas City — it has always been one of my favorite cities — even before college — so that was definitely a big factor.

Favorite spot to eat in KC?

Cáfe Sebastienne at the Kemper Museum. I love brunch, and they have the best French toast I’ve ever had.

Favorite spot on campus?

The biology building is my favorite place to study but my favorite place to just hang out is the Student Union rooftop terrace, especially when the weather is nice.

Favorite spot to visit in KC?

Ever since moving to Kansas City, my appreciation for art has grown tremendously. I love going to First Fridays, the Plaza Art Fair and — of course — the museums.