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Chris Duffy ’04 is an interface analyst at Epic, a leading healthcare software developer in the Madison, Wisconsin, area. There, he develops, implements, and supports electronic interfaces that exchange patient data throughout a system. Those interfaces are designed to prevent problems, such as inaccurate medications due to illegible handwriting.
“The entire college experience got me in front of a very diverse set of people. There is no anxiety in talking with anyone from any of our divisions at work or at any level of our customer base.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“The people with whom I interact have made this career interesting — PhDs, MDs, recent college graduates, experienced co-workers, and more — all working together for the safety and well being of the patient. The 1,000-acre Epic campus is quite the awe-inspiring and creative space, and it’s been thoroughly enjoyable to watch it sprawl and evolve.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“The sheer diversity! Physics in its own teaches complex problems throughout the spectrum of scales, from subatomic to universal. The Entrepreneurial Studies in Natural Sciences (ESNS) program was crucial for being able to formally present ideas to higher-level audiences with professionalism and confidence. Then also all the extracurriculars drew me to many more personalities and thought processes — writing for The Current, resident assistant, pep band, Delta Upsilon, and more.”
How has your liberal arts education helped you?
“I had to lead a new, company-wide group in charge of internal tools and training for managing customers’ software upgrades; I had to set the direction and goals for the group while empowering my team members with responsibility and autonomy to organize ideas and accomplish tasks that made upgrades safer and easier. With a few hundred live customers and a couple thousand technical services staff as our audience, it was imperative to stick to our mission statement and choose projects that had the best impact. We were mining through a lot of raw data, narratives and opinions; we were each from a different application team, with different tenure and experience, collaboratively and creatively thinking of solutions and the implementation strategies. It was one of the most diverse facets of my career so far.”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“You are in charge of what you get out of your experience. Everything is an opportunity — every right answer is validation of what you know, every wrong answer is a learning moment, every challenge builds your character.”
Favorite Carthage memories:
“I will always remember presenting my senior thesis in a full suit and a room crowded with peers, professors from other departments, family, friends, fraternity brothers, and everyone else I could find. I did enjoy playing devil’s advocate while coauthoring the “He Said / She Said” column in The Current. The whole situation of living in a hotel for two years still makes me smile. Overall, the entire college experience got me in front of a very diverse set of people. There is no anxiety in talking with anyone from any of our divisions at work or at any level of our customer base. I know when I am the expert and when I need to call for help. I know every problem has a solution; it’s just a matter of agreeing on one. I would do the whole thing over again just the same.”