Healthcare clubs, class connect business students to opportunities

When Jacob Ricks, a finance alumnus and current MBA student, first started his program he was surprised to learn the BYU Marriott School of Business housed healthcare classes and clubs. He did not realize they were offered but was excited to learn about them due to his interest in healthcare.

Just like Ricks, other BYU students in the business school have an interest in pursuing a healthcare-related career. The Marriott School offers a Healthcare Executive Lectures (HES) class and the Healthcare Management Association and Healthcare Industry Association (HIA) clubs that help interested students pursue careers in their respective fields.

Heather Rayburn, an adjunct professor at the Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics, teaches the HES class in the Marriott School. She works to bring in a variety of speakers and executives, including CEOs from hospitals, from around the country and other various parts of the healthcare industry.

Rayburn seeks out leaders who will interest her students and be of value to them. According to Rayburn, the speakers will often offer to connect with students as mentors to help with interning, recruiting, hiring and other opportunities.

“Much of the leading healthcare industry is like any industry — it is a business. It needs to be run by really well-trained and well-educated business leaders,” Rayburn said.

A variety of students come through the class from different majors, including public health and nursing, according to Rayburn. She said the class is for anyone interested in the healthcare field, but particularly those who want to do something in a leadership capacity.

Rayburn is not directly involved with the club but indirectly supports it. Several of the club leaders are in the class.

Christian Tadje, a public health major and business management minor, is the incoming president of the Healthcare Management Association (HMA). He hopes to pursue a role in hospital operations as an operating officer and executive officer in hospital leadership.

Tadje said one of the big goals of the HMA, which is specifically for undergraduate students, is to place them in graduate programs if they so desire. Members of the HIA are already in a graduate program.

Ricks, the MBA president for HIA, graduated in 2012 from the finance department and is currently pursuing his MBA with a marketing emphasis.

Ricks said the club tries to be involved and help students by providing speakers, implementing service projects and connecting them to alumni. They will also be integrating a new mentorship program in January. Recently, the club organized a service project where they made blankets for Primary Children’s Hospital.

Similarly, Tadje said the HMA focuses on recruiting activities, preparing students for interviews and helping them land entry-level jobs in healthcare.

“We organized a resume clinic where we had one of our officers present about how to have a clean, clear and effective resume, as a lot of us are preparing for job applications and graduate school applications,” Tadje said.

The clubs’ purposes are similar in that they are meant to prepare club members to become leaders within healthcare, according to Tadje.

Tadje said some students in the HMA are still deciding their career path, whereas the HIA members are usually more established. The HMA provides them with a foundation to launch that career.

The classes and clubs help students learn how diverse the healthcare industry is in the number of aspects it covers, according to Ricks. “Healthcare is very, very broad and it is very important and there are a lot of challenges,” he said.

Tadje said the HMA has students from a large set of majors ranging from public health to food science. He said they share a common interest in healthcare and the desire to be involved in an industry where they can help people.

Tadje and Ricks both agree it is important to offer these clubs and classes in the Marriott School due to the involvement business has in the healthcare industry.

“It does not really surprise me that this is a part of the business school,” Tadje said. “In order to be within the operations of a hospital or to be a business consultant within healthcare or work in insurance, you really need to know the ins and outs of business, so I think this is the right place for it to fit.”

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