Michaela Gabrielle Serafica


I am currently a Health Emergency Preparedness Analyst at San Mateo County Health Emergency Medical Services. My responsibilities include developing county level emergency response plans focused on serving vulnerable populations; collecting, analyzing, and summarizing data to inform evidence-based clinical quality improvement processes, focused on pre-hospital care; and assisting the coordination of the San Mateo Medical Advisory Committee, Hospital Preparedness Program, and San Mateo County Healthcare Coalition.

I also serve various roles at the San Mateo County COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center, such as the Medical Health Branch Logistics Chief, Care Site Outreach Support Team Lead, and Supply Unit Leader. I started this job in November 2019, so the majority of my work has been highly impacted by COVID-19!

During my activation in the San Mateo County COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center, I managed the Care Site Outreach Support Team which served the most vulnerable populations in San Mateo County, such as individuals and staff in long term care facilities, shelters, and jails. Through this initiative, over 10,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted, 500,000 PPE items were proactively deployed, and medical stabilization teams were sent to facilities facing a COVID-19 outbreak. I truly believe my interdisciplinary HBS lens prepared me to face this challenge from a social, economic, and public health approach to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in populations most at risk.

I use my HBS skills every single day at work! When I am developing emergency preparedness and response plans at a County level, I constantly challenge myself to evaluate the risk from a socioeconomic, racial, political, and public health lens. I want to serve as many people as I can through these plans, and my HBS preparation helps me develop the right questions to ask myself while in the process.

My words of advice is that you are more than worthy and qualified for that job, program, or experience you are applying for! Don’t ever sell yourself short because you feel you lack experience – HBS presents plenty of opportunities for experience through the core classes and internship course. During my time at UCLA, I did not have much public health experience, but my leadership experience transferred well in my job because it gave me experience in grant writing, community development, and public speaking. Research skills that were cultivated in my senior capstone class are skills I use every day at work. As long as you are passionate about what you do, your skills will develop and you will find ways to transfer and apply them to what you love! TRUST THE PROCESS!

And shout out to the transfers grinding in this major – this is a hard major and you are amazing for seamlessly integrating!

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