Sometimes, I feel like I’m living a double life as an MHA/MBA student. A typical Tuesday in my life this semester may shed a bit of light on what I mean.
8am- Lecture for Strategic Business Consulting
9am- Team meeting for Strategic Business Consulting
10am- Strategic Management of Change
Travel across the river to the hospital
12pm- Human Resources for Health Organizations
Travel back across the river to the business school
2pm- Personal Directions in Leadership
3:30pm- Team meeting with advisor for Strategic Business Consulting
5pm- Meeting with a team member for the New Pioneer consulting project
6pm- Grab dinner
7pm- Meeting with UAB MHA Case Competition team to revise our power point presentation
9pm- Arrive at home and start responding to email, completing reading for class, etc.
As a duel MHA/MBA student I am constantly balancing my time between MHA and MBA classes, outside of class activities, and even groups of friends. It can be a challenge to make everything fit together and sometimes I feel like there are just not enough hours in the day.
As challenging as it may be to pursue both an MHA and an MBA, the benefits definitely outweigh the costs. Here are a few reasons that I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to be a member of both programs:
- I am presented with course material in each program that compliments the other in a way that will ultimately leave me well equipped for a future in health care administration. For example, I am currently taking Statistical Methods for Process Improvement, a course that focuses on many of the concepts utilized in operational improvement processes, such as Lean and Six Sigma. Many of the examples used in the course are pulled from healthcare organizations and the instructor works as a member of the Operations Excellence team at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
- The career development components of the MBA program have helped me to learn more about myself, my personality, and the way I best work with others. The MHA career development components have given me a more robust understanding of many of the complex components of our healthcare delivery system and how those will impact future leaders in healthcare organizations.
- The exposure I receive in the MBA program to companies outside of the healthcare industry has allowed me to think outside of the box and apply concepts used in other industries to healthcare.
- The graduate assistant position I hold at the hospital has given me an opportunity to gain experience working in a healthcare organization that has allowed me to more fully participate in all of my classes and to apply material as I learn it in class.
- The consulting project I was assigned this semester as part of the Strategic Business Consulting course involves the analysis of freight shipping logistics for a durable medical equipment company. Although this is not a role I will likely have in my future career, it is a great opportunity to gain exposure to another aspect of the healthcare field that has been provided by the MBA program.
Sometimes it can be challenging juggling all of the components associated with pursuing both an MHA and an MBA degree. However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have made great friends and established some very helpful networking contacts through both programs. I have had the opportunity to hold leadership positions and to be involved in extra curricular activities in both programs. I have become knowledgeable about the intricacies of working in healthcare administration while building the depth of my business knowledge. Double life? Maybe not, I like to say I have the best of two complementary worlds.