Applied and Relevant

Entering a graduate program is like committing to an exercise program: It's good for you, it's not always easy, and there are a lot of options. Adam Byrd, Biomedical Imaging Specialist, new dad, and MS in Healthcare Administration student is making his coursework count.

“It’s kind of like going to the gym…as long as I’m in the building I’m alright.” In this case, getting to the gym means opening online coursework each morning. From there Adam makes a list of what he wants to tackle at work that day and compares it to the concepts he’s currently learning in his courses. “I'll just take like this basic principle and then I'll just try to apply it to something I'm doing right then.”

Some assignments have been directly applicable, like the pitch assignment in the Strategic Communications course. “It was kind of shocking how applicable it was.” Adam used the assignment to successfully pitch his manager on revamping his team’s Standard Operating Procedures, a project that that was sorely needed to develop the project management practices in his area.

Other concepts have been eye-opening. After Adam learned about BLUF and SBAR writing frameworks he started noticing other teams he worked with had been using them all along to succinctly and effectively communicate business updates. When Adam tried his hand at SBAR his manager noticed and complemented Adam’s improved communications style.

Overall, Adam sees the value in his coursework in providing concepts that provide structure to his work. “I’m able to use these tools to organize my thoughts and develop a structure.” Adam says this structure has already helped him save time, connect more deeply with teammates in different roles, and develop a deeper understanding of what it will take to reach his goal of becoming a healthcare administrator. Learning about leadership in the Healthcare Systems course, “it was becoming really obvious to me that I needed to have tools to be a good manager.”

Like equipment in the gym, the MS program offers those tools. Day by day, Adam is putting in the work to wield those tools and reach his goals.