MBA In Healthcare Leadership Grad Bound For Yale Nursing Program

With an MBA in Healthcare Leadership from Dominican — where she was able to advance her career goals while working full-time at Genentech — Harriet Perdikaris Reynolds is well prepared to enter the Masters of Nursing program at Yale University.

“My ultimate goal is to work with cancer patients to ensure they can get the best care possible despite their ability to pay,” Harriet says. “Dominican has helped me better understand the healthcare industry and where I can play a role to affect change in policy, or even simply focus my energy and enthusiasm to improve community health.”

How Harriet gravitated toward healthcare and arrived at Dominican in the Barowsky School of Business is remarkable. Though she considered a career in medicine in high school, her bachelor’s degree from New York University was in film and TV production. A friend working at a healthcare marketing company led her to a job retouching photos and correcting design layouts

“I got to help out on some patient education materials for a cancer drug, and I realized that I could be creative in the healthcare world,” Harriet says.

 “Through my work, I was able to collaborate with many different types of healthcare providers, and I found that nurse practitioners fill a significant gap in healthcare access. It was about 10 years into my career when I decided I wanted to go back to school and become a nurse.”

At that time, Harriet was moving from Ohio to Marin County and was trying to enroll in prerequisite science courses at a community college. Frustrated at being waitlisted for the courses she wanted, Harriet started to explore other options, including an MBA. She attended several MBA information sessions throughout the Bay Area before picking Dominican.

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“When I attended an info session at Dominican and met many of the same people that ended up being my classmates, I realized this was the program for me,” Harriet says.

“I loved the healthcare focus. It made me feel like even though I'm not focusing on the nursing prerequisites, I was still completing a degree that would benefit me in the clinical world. My classmates came from different backgrounds and worked in different parts of the healthcare industry, so the dynamic was really diverse. And, of course, the campus was really beautiful so coming to class on a Saturday was just a joy.”

Fortunately for Harriet, Dominican offered an MBA with a concentration in Healthcare Leadership.

“I wanted to study the business of healthcare because it is very complex and is becoming a very important part of the role that providers play in patient care,” Harriet says. “Understanding how the system works, where the pitfalls are, how to access care, and understand policy is critical to ensuring patients get the best care possible. Getting a general business degree would not have helped me much at work, nor in my nursing career.”

Harriet valued the program’s flexibility, which made it possible for her to earn an MBA as she worked full-time at Genentech as a senior strategy manager while dedicating time to learning and building relationships with her classmates at Dominican.

At Dominican, Harriet was challenged by the teachings and knowledge of Dr. Rajeev Sooreea, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of International Business, and influenced by health policy professor Tim Schulze.

“His class inspired me to get more educated around state-specific health policy and how I can get involved in my community,” Harriet says. “He also was very supportive and encouraging when I told him about my plans to attend nursing school.”

Dominican’s program allows students to work as consultants for growing businesses. Harriet and her team won an award for the best project presentation for their work with a client who had developed a water testing strip system that could be analyzed using a smartphone app. However, Harriet’s highlight at Dominican was a Global Consulting Practicum in Ecuador.

“We had really great clients who were welcoming and very hospitable. We were also lucky in that we were able to finish a big portion of our consulting project prior to leaving on the trip and so we were able to really enjoy ourselves while we were there,” Harriet says.

 “I'm a huge extrovert, so I love traveling with people and getting to spend a ton of time with my team. Our professors also had loads of great activities planned that were educational and really rewarding. I felt that many of my relationships with classmates grew stronger and will be lifelong friendships because of our time together in Quito.”

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In May, Harriet received her MBA degree. Yale was the perfect next step for Harriet to specialize in acute care and oncology.

“Many master's entry programs don't allow students to specialize in acute care. Instead, they will make you leave school for a year and then come back to resume your coursework,” she says. “Yale allows you to specialize right away, and also offers the oncology concentration. All of these things drove my desire to apply.”

Harriet’s Dominican experience served her well. She enjoyed the hands-on work she did with professors and classmates and the subject matter was appropriate and useful for her career aspirations.

“I was really excited about the healthcare-focused coursework as I really hadn't gotten any formal education in these topics,” Harriet says. “I definitely was able to build strong relationships and extend my network to include my classmates and professors. I truly believe these relationships have already helped me in my career and will continue to do so as I pursue nursing. I learned a lot about finance and economics that was immediately applicable to my day-to-day work responsibilities.”

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