Name: Ivan Mitchell
Current Employer: Great Plains Health
Job Title: Chief Operating Officer & Senior Vice President
Year of Graduation: 2009
How has obtaining an MPA degree from the University of Utah helped you in your career? Obtaining my MPA equipped me with the skills and leadership ability to excel in my career field.
What skills learned from your classes, or courses in general, were most important in your career development? Public Budgeting and Finance taught me that obtaining strong financial skills is important in managing any department or organization. Health Economics, Health Services Administration, and Health Care Financial Management were elective courses, but very helpful in my career.
What advice would you give to incoming students? The benefit of the schedule at the U is that you have the opportunity to gain experience while obtaining your master's degree. Hold a job in the field you want to eventually work in, even if the Master's degree takes you three years rather than two. Having a Master's degree with three years of experience in your field is more critical than having your master's degree a year earlier with no experience.
Name: Jason Fox
Current Employer: University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
Job Title: Division Manager, General Pediatrics
Year of Graduation: 2012
How has obtaining an MPA degree from the University of Utah helped you in your career? I believe obtaining an MPA degree has helped me in my career by giving me a solid foundation in administration that lends itself well to both the healthcare, and government sectors. Areas like admin theory, ethics, and health policy provided me the ability to grow and develop my own ideals that I am able to strive for in a professional setting. Being able to pair the MPA degree with the MHA degree through the school of business also allowed for additional training in the healthcare sector.
What skills learned from your classes, or courses in general, were most important in your career development? Again, I think the foundation and framework that the MPA allowed me to develop in regards to administration have helped me most in my career development. I found that the classes that were able to intertwine theory with real world application personally helped me develop relevant skills to relate to my profession. I also found the capstone project to be challenging and rewarding. The ability to complete an internship were also important to gain additional relevant experience.
What advice would you give to incoming students? Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand. In addition, question and challenge things that are presented. Try and tailor the program to meet the needs of you as an individual, get the most out of it you can, and in relation to your career goals. Take every opportunity to work with the highly regarded faculty and professionals that this program will put you in contact with.