Heeding the call to help leads to degree no. 2, dream job no. 1

Michael Wilson
Degree: BS Biomedical Sciences, submajor in Medical Laboratory Science
Hometown: Milwaukee
It’s a fact: He originally wanted to be an architect like his father.

While a student at Milwaukee’s Rufus King International High School, Michael Wilson didn’t separate his aspirations from those around him. As a member of the National Scholars Honor Society, Wilson kept his grades high while volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, among other community efforts.

After he graduates in May with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences, Wilson will continue to combine his personal goals with a profound desire to help others.

Wilson will become a medical laboratory scientist at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Wauwatosa. He will help conduct laboratory tests that will directly affect the care and treatment of the young patients there.

After considering several post-graduation jobs in his field, he couldn’t be happier.

“At Children’s Hospital, they showed us that they really care about the children they care for. I was drawn to work there and to be part of the great things they are doing,” Wilson said.

Wilson already held an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from UW-Madison when he enrolled in the UWM College of Health Science’s Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program several years ago. He took a job as a lab assistant at ACL Laboratories at Aurora West Allis Medical Center. Wilson still planned to work at that job until graduation, while also working in the laboratory in a school-related clinical rotation at Children’s Hospital. A typical recent day for Wilson was working at the two jobs from 7 a.m. through 10:30 p.m., and still finding time for his studies.

Along with an occasional workout at the gym to “relieve stress.”

“Michael has been a very hard-working, motivated student. He takes pride in his work and is excited to be working in a profession that allows him to follow his passion in life of helping and serving others,” said Cindy Brown, undergraduate programs director in the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Graduation will mean only one job for Wilson – but it’s the one he wanted the most.

“All seniors in the MLS program had to interview for their senior-year clinical experience, and when Children’s Hospital picked me, I was very grateful and thankful,” said Wilson.

His parents, immigrants to Milwaukee from Jamaica, inspired the 27-year-old’s passion for the medical field. An older brother, Desmond, is a UWM alumnus.

“My parents always instilled in us the value of education and of helping people and of never settling for anything but the very best. That’s why I wanted to get involved in the medical field.”

Wilson’s affection for medicine was only strengthened during volunteer work in Madison. In addition to mentoring other UW-Madison students, he volunteered at Meriter Hospital in that city, reading to youngsters and assisting wheelchair-bound patients around the hospital.

“Medicine and patient care is a very rewarding area. You are really making a difference in helping people to be happy and healthy. Even among your own family, there are things that you can do for them with your knowledge,” he said.

Wilson said he might consider other careers in medicine, up to and including medical school. For now, he is looking forward to working the “really crucial hours” of third shift in the Children’s Hospital laboratory.

He is even taking a week off before he starts. “No travel plans,” he said. “I’m just glad to have the time off.”