Nathan Robinson: MHA Candidate, 2013
What brought you to the UW MHA Program?
I was attracted to the UW MHA Program due to its experienced, knowledgeable faculty. They focus on teaching us technical skills for effective management as well as the importance of teamwork and leadership development. The program curriculum aligns with my motives for wanting to get into health care management. I was drawn to the project work we would complete inside and outside the classroom that would provide me with real, hands-on experience. I liked the many opportunities for career development that the program offers, such as having a professional mentor along with shadowing opportunities so I could research different career paths and network. They highly emphasize a paid internship experience which also sets the program apart from others that I looked at. Lastly, I was excited about living in a beautiful area with multiple outdoor activities close by and easy access to the unique culture of Seattle.
What was your undergraduate major?
My undergraduate major was in Spanish; I also minored in Chemistry and Business.
What work experience did you have before coming to the UW MHA Program?
I had 1-2 years of professional experience as a dental assistant/lab technician and as an employment coordinator for a school district. I initiated a pilot project for the school district to create employment opportunities and form a training program for students with disabilities. I also completed a health care administration internship and was able to shadow members of the administrative team, meet with department managers, attend senior leader meetings, and gain exposure to strategic planning and lean management.
What do you feel are the strengths of the UW MHA Program?
The strengths of the UW MHA Program are centered on its amazing staff, faculty, and curriculum. The staff is dedicated to helping students in whatever way they can, whether it be researching career opportunities or preparing for interviews and internship applications. The faculty has a lot of professional experience and can relate class material to real-life applications in health care. They understand the importance of challenging you because they are invested in your growth and development. They provide you with real health care problem, which allows you to build confidence in your abilities to succeed outside of the classroom. The faculty also has many connections to help students in their networking and professional development. The program curriculum is well-rounded in its team-based learning approach, emphasizing critical thinking, leadership, and emotional learning. These are strengths that set UW apart from many other MHA programs across the country.
Are there any outstanding or unique experiences you would like to share regarding the UW MHA Program?
I have recently started looking at summer hospital internship opportunities close to Colorado, where I'm from. I became quite interested in a few different organizations and sought out Jane Maule, the MHA program career services coordinator, for assistance in getting in touch with them. Within a week she helped me get in touch with a couple of those organizations. Now I have quality contacts and direction to work for obtaining an internship at an organization in my preferred location. There have been numerous times when I've approached a member of the staff or faculty seeking help or counsel. Each time my inquiries have been met promptly and with genuine interest.
What goals do you plan to pursue for your career in health care management?
At this point, my primary goal is to pursue a post-graduate fellowship. With a fellowship, I hope to gain more experience and exposure to different areas of health care administration that align with my skills and interests for my future career. I like the atmosphere of hospitals and larger systems of care and plan to seek positions with those types of providers. The areas of health care management I'm really interested in are operations and strategic planning. Throughout my career I'll strive to be constantly learning, improving my skills, and contributing to the quality of care for others.