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Shalini Ray

2019 EXTRAordinary Woman

As a client services expert in the ConvergeHEALTH Intellect Product Suite at a Big Four firm, Shalini found the perfect way to marry her love for STEM with her love of people. She began her college career at Carnegie Mellon University, earning a Bachelor of Biological Sciences with a focus in computational biology. From there, she moved swiftly to earning an accelerated Master of Healthcare Policy and Management. During her time in college, Shalini served in numerous leadership positions, including Student Body Vice President. She was also recognized for her dedication to her peers, winning an Outstanding Student Organization Leader SOAR Award, and being invited to speak as a distinguished panelist at the Carnegie Mellon Leadership Summit.

"Coming out of high school, you don’t really know what you want or are good at,” Shalini recalls — so she tried everything. "As much as I love science, I wanted to take that and apply it to the business aspect to match my personality," she says. It’s clear Shalini is passionate about the issues facing healthcare providers today. Specifically, she wants to reform delivery systems to allow hospitals to pay more attention to their main goal: providing care to patients.

In her current profession, Shalini works with executive teams at major hospitals and healthcare systems to implement advanced cloud technology that will help them identify gaps in their revenue cycle process, clinical documentation, and patient care management. “It’s basically like working at a start-up, but within a major company," she says. Shalini's hard work and dedication to her clients earned her an Applause Performance Award within her first year.

Shalini’s passion for STEM overflows beyond work. She serves as a committed mentor through Big Sister Boston and Junior League of Boston, and feels this volunteer work is crucial in encouraging a new generation of young women to consider careers in STEM fields. She believes that young women should start learning as young as possible. As she says, “elementary middle school level is where you kick-start people’s passion and they see that there’s more to life than just what they’re used to.”

After her first year in Boston, Shalini also began working with the American India Foundation. While many people wait until later in life to get involved in giving back, Shalini believes there’s no use in waiting until things slow down or it’s more convenient. “There is never a right time for anything,” she muses. “There is never a right time to start a family or change your job, so if you’re excited about something, just reach out. The worst thing they could say is no, and nine times out of 10, they’re not going to say no.” Just this year, Shalini played an instrumental role in planning a charity gala that raised more than a million dollars for MANSI, a nonprofit flagship in India that works to educate young pregnant women on safe maternal practices.

Somehow, Shalini manages to find time to dance and teach fitness classes as well. “Sometimes you can’t do everything, but it's important to take even an hour of your day and do something you actually enjoy and I think that should always be a priority,” she notes. While she loves the work she does in the office, Shalini also believes in cultivating passions outside of work. Her dance and fitness career has led her to perform at places such as NBA halftime shows and even the White House. However, she cautions against becoming overwhelmed. “I think it’s good to check in on yourself every couple of weeks,” she says. “And it’s nice when you say ‘no’ to something and have a night to yourself, or a couple of days for yourself, especially if you’re in a relationship and value your friendships.” She is a strong advocate of mental health awareness.

The transition from school to the “real world” can be a difficult one, but Shalini wants women in college to know that “just because you’re not recognized doesn't mean you're not doing anything.” What’s important is that you’re doing work that excites you and that you believe in.  As a final message to young women, Shalini urges them to “apply to everything that interests you, even if it’s not your field!”