Emanuel Eguia: MHA 2011
What brought you to the UW MHA Program?
After graduating from the University of Washington, my mentor challenged me to take some time away from school and learn about life outside the classroom. At the time, it was not the advice I wanted to hear, but it was the best advice someone has ever given me. I had the opportunity to work for Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, a non-profit mental and behavioral health center that helps free Latino youth from the cycle of gang violence and drug abuse. After working at this organization for a few years and being mentored by great leaders and examples in the community, I was encouraged to pursue the Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree. Being out of school for a period of time helped me realize my leadership potential. I specifically chose the UW MHA Program because of their emphasis on developing health care leaders.
What was your undergraduate major?
I was a pre-med student and did my undergraduate studies in cellular biology.
What work experience did you have before coming to the UW MHA Program?
As an undergraduate, I volunteered at Harborview Medical Center and Seattle Children's emergency department. I also worked for the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (GEAR UP) at Garfield High School as a mentor and tutor to low-income high school freshmen.
At Consejo Counseling and Referral Service, I worked as a high-risk youth counselor, developing programs to reduce youth gang violence and raise awareness about violence within the Latino community. I ultimately became the Executive Director's assistant, which included organizing fundraiser events, advocating for Washington State Mental Health and Youth Programs, creating youth programs at transitional housing for survivors of Domestic Violence, and managing program contracts and staff outcome performances.
What do you feel are the strengths of the UW MHA Program?
The core strengths of the UW MHA Program are its leadership training and its teaching and support staff. The support staff is very helpful in providing guidance and resources to students so we can achieve our personal career goals. Also, being part of the UW MHA Program has provided me with many opportunities to connect with local health care leaders and participate in great learning experiences outside the classroom.
Are there any outstanding or unique experiences that you would like to share regarding the UW MHA Program?
The Program's emphasis on mentoring has helped me develop a solid network of health care leaders who are helping me grow professionally, succeed academically, and strengthen my leadership skills.
What goals do you plan to pursue for your career in health care management?
Coming from a first-generation, low-income, Latino family has taught me about the disparities that underrepresented populations can have in accessing safe, effective, quality health care. My goal is to be the leader of an integrated health care delivery organization that provides quality care to all members of society, and to specifically help the underserved and underrepresented populations of my community.
My long-term goal is to provide leadership and support for a health care organization in a third world country. This organization will not only treat physical ailments, but also provide tools for the community to acquire the needs that every human being is entitled to: health care, education, shelter, food, and spirituality.
Is there anything you would like to share about your experience as a student at the University of Washington?
Along with some of my classmates, I helped start the Latino Healthcare Leaders Association. Our mission is to empower undergraduate and graduate Latinos at the UW who are aspiring to pursue a career in health care. We will provide leadership training, community leader mentoring, and educational support across Washington State.
Ultimately, there are many resources available to me as a student at the University of Washington. For example, I participated in the UW Business Plan Competition where my team presented a product idea to investors in the Seattle area. This experience helped engrain many of the business concepts I have learned in the MHA Program, particularly in the areas of finance, marketing, and strategic planning.
Emanuel was accepted into the UW School of Medicine to pursue an MD starting Autumn 2011.