Alumni Spotlight: Mauricio Alexander Alvarenga
California State University, Long Beach: Master of Science in Health Care Administration (CAHME )
Brigham Young University, Idaho: Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration (AUPHA )
Brigham Young University, Idaho: Associate of Science (2018)
American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity and Health Equity
Summa Cum Laude
After working in the health care industry for more than eight years, I wanted to gain greater knowledge of current administrative skills to become more competitive in the industry by offering more than what I already had. I was advised by mentors to further my career goals and knowledge by obtaining a higher education degree. I began to research the difference between a Master of Science in Health care Administration (MSHCA), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and Master of Public Health (MPH) which led to the realization that I wanted to focus on the health care industry. The MSHCA degree not only encompassed most aspects of an MBA, but also some aspects of an MPH, making it the perfect choice for me.
I then researched universities that provided an MSHCA degree. After further guidance by the President and CEO of Community Memorial Health System (Gary K. Wilde), I was advised to search for a university who possessed the Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME). This would ensure that the university would provide me with the knowledge health care leaders are looking for in new graduates. I was advised to find a program that provided at least two years’ worth of education, and practical application of it. I also considered location, cost, and quality of and diversity of staff members. California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) provided all of the aforementioned personal requisites and more.
Some of the best memories consist of time spent with my cohort members working on projects and celebrating every milestone of the master’s degree program by eating near the beach, visiting Disney, rappelling, or other recreational activities.
Also, I have fond memories of working with professors who made me believe I could dream and accomplish those dreams with their help and guidance. The administrative staff was responsive, and personable. I was made aware of several occasions in which staff was not compensated for time spent on students. It showed that their heart was in the work they performed for the students by extending these types of acts of service to help their students succeed.
CSULB had an extensive library which I would not have known how to navigate it if it were not for Michelle the MSHCA librarian. I was able to conduct extensive research with the help of Henry O’Lawrence which not only helped me with my 30+ page research paper, but with my final 60+ page business plan. This work led to being published through the Journal of Nursing and Occupational Health with the help of Dr. O’Lawrence and Dr. Martinez. I would advise you to build relationships with your professors. You will be surprised as to what professional skills they have to offer you to help you advance in your career goals.
I returned to school for higher education with the purpose of becoming a more valuable asset in the competitive market of healthcare systems. I previously worked in the pharmaceutical industry, but I wanted to make the lateral change to healthcare systems to learn to manage at scale. I recently completed an internship with Providence through the American Healthcare Association for Healthcare Executives offered through CSULB. I shadowed the Chief of Home Health who managed 24 ministries throughout four states (AK, CA, OR, WA). This experience afforded me the opportunity to create a PDSA model to reduce waste in the intake department for all 24 ministries across four states.
I am currently looking for my next opportunity in healthcare.
I would advise you to be bold, ask questions, and dare to dream. I suggest you begin working on your communication skills with your peers and professors. Learn to build genuine relationships of trust. Build a community wherever you go or become a part of a community. Do not let your ego get in the way; you are here to learn. Most importantly, learn to balance life by scheduling time for yourself, family, friends, assignments, work, extra-curricular activities, and writing in a journal. You’ve got this!