It’s already the end of the second five weeks of my last semester! We only have one more five weeks left and I know it’s going to be a busy one. We just finished up our five weeks with our Operations Strategy class. This five weeks is pretty nice because there is only one Core Class, so we have mornings on Tuesdays and Thursdays off. It’s given me a lot of time to catch up on assignments and other work before heading to school for the day. For our last five weeks we have QBA and Accounting left.
In addition to getting into our final five weeks, we also have some end of semester projects and program requirements to complete. Towards the end of April we have a project on discussing healthcare policy proposals and potential changes due. We also have oral exams coming up at the end of our program. As we get closer and closer to the end many of my classmates have either begun or continued to work and have been busy with balance work and school. In addition to this, many of us are just excited to finish our program and getting started on work and beginning our careers in healthcare administration soon.
I am definitely excited for it all as well! I am especially excited for having a little time off and spending two weeks in Greece with my boyfriend to celebrate the end of both of our Master’s programs! That’s definitely something to celebrate!!
Now that we’re headed towards the end of our final semester of school, we have just one last assignment tied to our residencies left to complete. We are required to turn in a report that discusses the major projects that we worked on during our residencies. Earlier in the semester, I gave an altered version of my presentation to both Healthcare MBA classes. Even at that point I already felt as though it had been awhile since I reviewed all of the details of my project! Now that it’s been several months since then, it’s been kind of fun to go back through what I worked on and remember how great my residency was.
What was especially exciting about my program is that it was a new and fairly novel program for the area our hospital was located in. I haven’t heard much about how the program has been doing since I left, but I did hear from one of Lake Pointe’s administrative assistance that they are applying for the program to be considered for more rewards. I truly hope that the program continues to evolve and become a great success! It was a great endeavor that benefitted community members surrounding the hospital and its success would allow more people to benefit from it. I felt very fortunate to have been a part of its development and I hope to see it winning some awards and continuing to develop in the months to come!
Working on this report is also a little bit surreal. I remember sitting in class with the students who were a year ahead of my last year as they turned in their reports. Time has truly flown by in this program and I really can’t believe that it’s almost time for graduation. I’m excited to graduate and get started on my career, but I’ll also be a little sad to say goodbye for now to Baylor. At least I have a little more time to enjoy!
Last fall my boyfriend and I adopted a Golden Retriever mix from a rescue in Dallas. I have always loved dogs, but haven’t had one in my family since Middle School. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be getting a dog of my own. Although we adopted her, she was still pretty young, about a year and a half old. She was already house trained and is generally good at not chewing up things that aren’t hers. The one thing we noticed soon after adopting her, however, is that she is very reactive when outside towards dogs and people.
Prior to having this pup in my life I really didn’t know anything about reactivity in dogs. As it turns out, she just gets overly excited when seeing a dog or person because she wants to meet them. Rather than calming saying hello, however, she barks. This can be fairly challenging because naturally other dog owners become nervous that she is actually aggressive with other dogs rather than just excited.
To help her work on this, we recently enrolled Tonks into a training class for reactive dogs. We were pretty excited to find such a specified training program that would hopefully help her get to the point where she can meet new dogs without barking. One of the tasks we’ve been working on is to show her a stuffed dog and turn around without her reacting to it much. I was pretty surprised to see that at first she did indeed react to the stuffed dog! She ended up being able to calm down and focus, but it really showed me just how reactive she is that she will bark at a stuffed dog. The trainer told us that in weeks to come we will work on slowly introducing her to real dogs and seeing how she reacts. I’m nervous, but excited to see how she does! It’s been a lot of work for us to have adopted a dog while both in graduate school, but it’s also been very rewarding. I really can’t imagine my life without her in it anymore and am so thankful every day that I see her!
Although I no longer live in Dallas during the school week, I still go up on weekends to visit my boyfriend and to also hang out with my old coworker from my residency. During our residency we primarily hung out together and quickly realized that making friends outside of your school programs can be difficult to do! As a result, we started looking for ways to meet other like minded individuals around Dallas.
One option that we found is the Meetup.com website. Meetup is basically a platform that allows individuals in cities around the country to make interest groups. This means that you can find individuals with common interests in your city. Since I only spend a few days in Dallas a week and since I’m always busy with school work and other things lately, I haven’t had a lot of time to explore Meetups. My coworker had previously gone to one Meetup event that is meant to bring together young professional women in Dallas. A new event was coming up on a Friday evening, so I decided to tag along this time. We met for a Happy Hour and chatted with a few girls and ended up staying out later and getting to know everyone. It was a LOT of fun!
I think there is something to be said for having a good group of girlfriends to spend time with on weekends, so I’m pretty excited to continue to get to know them and meet more girls as well. In school making friends can be pretty easy, but depending on where you work you may or may not work with many people around your age. Needless to say this has been a great experience for us and I hope we make some great friendships from it!
Well, I had hoped for a super relaxing spring break and in some ways I got it, but in others I definitely didn’t. On the first Friday of spring break, I slipped on some ice in Dallas while taking my dog out in the early afternoon and bruised my tailbone. Needless to say sitting, down, moving around and generally doing anything that puts pressure or strains my tailbone has been unpleasant. Fortunately this did mean that it made even more sense for m to spend quite a bit of time on the couch watching tv and movies as I had planned!
Over the week my tailbone has gradually gotten better, but is definitely still painful. I had hoped that I’d get some time to enjoy the outdoors, but hiking and walking up inclines is pretty uncomfortable for me still. I also was lucky enough to catch a cold that my boyfriend brought back to Texas with him after a quick trip for his spring break as well. Needless to say it hasn’t been the spring break I expected!
Despite being pretty under the weather for spring break though, I am thankful this all happened while ON break so that I’ve had some time to recover. Neither my cold nor my tailbone injury have resolved completely, but they are both gradually improving. I am also definitely glad that I had time to enjoy watching tv and getting a lot of rest though!
Lately I’ve been thinking about what kinds of things I’d like to learn, accomplish or focus on after I start working full time. Since I came straight into the Healthcare MBA program from college, I have always had assignments, tests, and homework to worry about during my evenings and often on weekends as well. I have certainly enjoyed having fall and spring breaks, but that typically offers time to relax and rejuvenate rather than start up a new hobby or self-improvement goal.
Once I start working there are a few things that I would like to put some of my extra energy into accomplishing. Some are things that I used to love and simply haven’t made a priority in years and others are new things I’d like to learn. For one, I’d really like to get back into reading. Before getting busy with school towards the end of high school, I read obsessively. I absolutely loved it. Since then it really hasn’t been as much of a priority to me and I’d like to change that by spending time reading books and articles for at least of portion of most evenings or mornings.
In addition to reading, I’d also like to put more energy into a consistent health regimen. I do my best to eat well and get exercise now, but when crunch time comes for exams and homework assignments, I can often miss a workout or buy some quick junk food to get by. I would really like to eliminate these inefficiencies and focus on getting into optimal health while I’m still young.
I would also like to get back into volunteering. During my residency I volunteered as a mentor for middle school girls. I 100% am planning on returning to this volunteer organization and am very excited about getting involved again. I would also like to look for more volunteer opportunities in the communities I live and work in. I like feeling connected to my community and have never regretted spending my time volunteering for causes I believe in.
One of my last goals that is currently on my priority list is to try something new. I’m not sure exactly what I’ll end up doing, but I want to gain some kind of additional skill set. One thing I’ve considered is spending more time cooking. I would love to get more comfortable in the kitchen and spend time experimenting with different dinner recipes. I would also eventually love to take a foreign language class in evenings or start taking group exercise classes. There are a lot of things I want to do and I’m excited to have the opportunity to do so!
After my one class tomorrow I’ll officially be on spring break! I don’t really have much planned for break, but I’m looking forward to having some down time, lounging around and not doing schoolwork for a few days. This is likely going to be one of my last spring breaks (at least for awhile) so I want to make sure I enjoy it!
One of my favorite things to do during spring break is watch A LOT of tv and movies. I don’t tend to watch much of either during a typical school week. Occasionally I’ll fit a show in, but I tend to get behind on different tv series and then simply stop watching them. Spring break is the ideal time to get caught up!
I also typically enjoy spending some time outdoors during spring break. With classes, homework and other responsibilities I find that I don’t have much time to enjoy beautiful weather and simply being outside! I hope to fit a little bit of time enjoying the outdoors into my weekend while I have the chance.
Many of my classmates have trips and other adventures planned for break, so I’m excited to hear what they all did over break when we get back. I’ve always tended to take fairly low-key breaks! I think I generally just need some time to relax when break rolls around.
With Spring Break only a week away all of us are very busy with classes, assignments and tests. I will say it does feel like we have a lot more free time this five weeks with only having one morning class rather than two! I feel very spoiled being able to get up early on Tuesday/Thursday and not go to school until 11. This has given me a ton of extra time to do work in the morning.
During college I typically enjoyed doing late night work. I’d stay up late and sleep in when possible or wake up early and nap once I finish classes for the day. Since starting grad school I’ve noticed my schedule preferences changing. There are certainly still times where I have stayed up very late working on homework or studying (and came to school quite groggy because of it!), but lately I’ve enjoyed waking up early, sipping on a chai latte and preparing for the day. It definitely makes me feel much less rushed when it does come time to head to class since I’ve already been awake for several hours!
My hope is that as I finish my MBA and head out into the work force that I’ll continue to wake up earlier, spend some time reading or fit in a quick morning work out, enjoy a latte and get ready to start my day. There is something I really enjoy about peaceful mornings nowadays that I didn’t a few years ago!
Since it’s the last semester in our MBA, many of us are asking the question that’s on everyone’s mind: What’s Next? Some of my classmates are returning to residency sites for work, others are exploring their options or going elsewhere. While I’m hoping to return to my residency site (or the market!) I tend to be more fixated on what my long term goals are.
I realize the importance of what’s next in terms of my immediate future after graduation: the importance of getting my career started, earning an income, beginning to carve out my path, and to continuing to develop my skills. And while I am excited and a little nervous for graduation and for what is next in my immediate future, I am mostly excited about starting out on what I hope is a long and exciting career in healthcare.
I have always known that I belonged in healthcare. I wish that I could say why or pinpoint specific moments that caused me to “know”. I do have moments and experiences like that, but my drive to work in healthcare began before that, almost like an instinct. I truly cannot remember a time in my life where I didn’t feel as though I belonged in healthcare. Even in elementary school I proudly proclaimed I would be a physician one day. Although I am not currently working towards being a clinician, I still know that I am working towards goals that are “right” for me. I feel very lucky to know that I am working towards the right industry, that I belong in healthcare, but figuring out what I want to do long term is a much more challenging question. It’s also a question that I don’t feel I need an exact answer to.
I know that I will always want to be challenged, that I always will want to learn more, impact more people, and grow throughout my career. In life as a whole I tend to be a realist, but when it comes to my goals and my drive to learn I am much more of an idealist and a dreamer. I have lots of ideas and plans for my future-how those will change and develop throughout my life is very exciting to me. One of the best aspects of healthcare is just how dynamic it is and how much you can learn and experience if you choose to. Graduating and beginning work is a big what’s next, but my answer to “What’s Next?” goes far beyond what I see in my immediate future and I can’t wait to learn and grow as an individual and as a person who is dedicated to healthcare no matter what roles and hats I may wear along the way.
Yesterday the healthcare students participated in an internal case competition. We have a competitive team that travels to case competitions to compete, but the program also holds an internal competition for those students who are not on the competitive team.
Last year we all watched the students in the class above us take part in the internal case competition and this year it was our turn! We were given the case about a month in advance, but the majority of us hadn’t looked at the case until about two weeks beforehand. My group met and divided up some preliminary work for the weekend before the competition and we quickly realized how much work there was to be done!
The case required that we give a recommendation to a healthcare system about opening up urgent cares. To do this we had to do a financial analysis of whether or not the project would be feasible and from there recommend locations for the urgent cares, how many we would choose to open, and what the model of care would actually look like. I have to admit that I am truthfully not the best with financials, especially with such limited data, so I was lucky to have a team with great members to utilize all of our strengths.
The day of the competition the three teams all met and were prepared to present. The judges consisted of several administrators from a local healthcare organization. It was great being able to see how well all of the teams came together and to see what ideas our presentations had in common and which differed. It was a ton of work and I think we’re all glad it’s over, but it was still an interesting learning process!!