Two teams of health administration students each placed among top programs in national case competitions.
Teams of students from the College of Public Health’s Masters of Health Administration (MHA) program competed and placed in the Baylor University Robbins Case Competition in Waco, Texas, and the National Association of Health Services Executives (NAHSE) Student Case Competition in New Orleans.
MHA program director Julie Robbins, PhD, said case competitions are a prime way to prepare students for careers in the health care administration field.
“Case competitions are a really good way for students to apply what they learn in the program in a hands-on way,” Robbins said. “We work with our students a lot to see themselves as professionals, not just students, and this kind of opportunity where they’re presenting to health care executives from leading systems across the country really challenges them to up their game in terms of professional presentation.”
Corey Ferguson, a graduate student in health services management and policy (HSMP) at CPH, attended the Baylor case competition for the first time in October and said cooperation was integral in solidifying a spot in the final round.
“Teamwork and collaboration is key,” Ferguson said. “All of us have different strengths and different weaknesses, but together we put together a really, really strong team that got us to the finals. It was exciting to see how I was taking what I learned in the classroom and applying it.”
The college’s team placed third out of 12 teams from top health administration programs in the nation.
“I cannot express how amazing and supportive the students, staff, faculty, alumni and everyone else in our program was. Having everyone there for us at every step of the process was the best feeling to me, and made me want to work harder to make them proud.” — MHA student Gennel Vieira
MHA students who competed in the NAHSE case competition placed third out of 30 teams from top programs across the nation. They were challenged with making Oakland, California, the healthiest city in America through the Accountable Health Communities model.
“My biggest takeaway was no matter what obstacles you face, having a great team of people who can back you up and help you through anything you’re going through is all you need,” said Gennel Vieira, a graduate student in HSMP. “I cannot express how amazing and supportive the students, staff, faculty, alumni and everyone else in our program was. Having everyone there for us at every step of the process was the best feeling to me, and made me want to work harder to make them proud.”
Robbins expressed that the NAHSE competition is of great importance to minority students, as the representation of African-American health leaders serves as inspiration for the group, who are underrepresented in the field.
“I’m proud of them regardless of the outcome,” Robbins said. “It’s fun to make the finals, it’s fun to place, but I put far less stake in that versus what they learn, how hard they work to prepare and how much they invest in themselves and put themselves out there to do the best that they can. That, to me, is exciting. The rest is the icing on the cake.”