Student Spotlight: Brittany Brown, Healthcare Administration Program
Brittany Brown, MHA Student
Brittany Brown is a student in the Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program. Here, she talks about her love of leadership, why she chose to get her MHA, and why she feels that having an MHA gives her an edge.
Can you tell us about yourself and what encouraged you to pursue your Master of Healthcare Administration?
I was born and raised in Maine, and for my undergraduate, I went to The University of Maine at Orono and got my BA in English, with a concentration in Technical & Professional Writing. After college, I got a job where I spent a lot of time in development, admissions, marketing, communications, and grant writing.
I’ve always enjoyed taking a leadership role in whatever I’m doing, and that’s what encouraged me to go for my master’s degree. I was thinking about ways that I could better myself and contribute more to whatever workplace that I’m in – so I started exploring UNE’s programs online.
Originally, I was accepted into the Online Master of Public Health program, but shortly after I had been accepted into that program, I learned about the Online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program and discovered that I could follow a track with a public health focus, so I made the switch.
I’ve found that the MHA program has allowed me to pair the development of a leadership skill set with the public health focus that I’m really passionate about. Some of my long-term goals are to be able to be out in the community working with some aspect of public health in an administrative role.
How far are you through the program?
It’s a two-year program, and I’m officially halfway through – I should be graduating next August. It has gone by really fast.
Had you taken online courses before?
I took a few during my undergrad and I really liked the online format because it lets me schedule when I’m completing coursework on my own time. There aren’t set meeting times and dates for us to come together, offering flexibility so I can do it in my own time.
How have you felt about your work-life balance through the program?
I tend to like to take on a lot of responsibilities and activities at once. In addition to working full-time for UNE and pursuing my Master of Healthcare Administration, I design wedding invitations for fun.
I focus my energy on schoolwork on Saturdays and Sundays to get through the bigger assignments we have every week.
What’s been your biggest challenge getting through the program and how have you coped?
Sometimes I wish I had just a little bit of extra time during the week to get through learning units because I tend to want to dive more deeply into some of the topic areas. Since the classes are 8 weeks long, the fast pace doesn’t always afford the opportunity for me to do that.
Do you feel that the classes you’ve been taking have helped you to be more competitive for finding a job in healthcare administration?
Absolutely. In the State of Maine, healthcare is a top industry and an MHA will help me to stand out in the job market, especially with its similarities to an MBA. As I’ve been learning, CGPS does a great job making sure that all the information that we’re taking in each week is up-to-date and relevant.
I’m in HCA 630, Healthcare Law & Ethics, and some of the cases take place right in the State of Maine, so it’s really relatable for me to use and learn about what’s going on in my own backyard.
Have you felt like your classes have been rigorous?
Absolutely. It’s a lot of reading and watching lectures, and it’s very writing-intensive, but it’s never to the point where it feels like I can’t do it. And we’re really fortunate to have instructors that are supportive and understanding of what goes on outside of school.
Have you felt supported by your instructors and your student support specialists?
Absolutely. Anytime I have a question I’m able to contact my Student Support Specialist and she’s right there to answer questions and provide advice on what I can do.
And any time I’ve had questions related to coursework, my instructors have always made themselves available to assist and support me.
If you could give future healthcare administration students a piece of advice, what would that be like?
Plan out your time. As you enter your classes, definitely fill out the standard time management plan for the entire eight-week session so you can anticipate what’s coming – but also be open to learning about things that you may have preconceived notions about.
There are always ways that you can take what you’ve learned and apply those insights right into what you’re doing today.
Learn more with our online MHA program guide