Why Booth? Why Civic Scholars?

After over a decade in public health-care system, I was at an inflection point. I needed to refine my existing skillset and to add new skills to maximize my impact. I also wanted an opportunity to reflect on my experience and to make a plan for my future goals and impact with other experienced public and social sector leaders. Booth's prowess and reputation in developing highly skilled leaders who aren't afraid of tackling complex problems was an immediate draw to help me address my first goal. The Civic Scholars was the community where I could do the deep work of reflection and leadership growth to achieve my second goal. Together, with the possibility of being back in Chicago, they were an excellent fit.

What are your career aspirations?

I've been fortunate to gain deep and diverse experience in the US public health-care system during the first part of my career: first, as a clinical operations analyst at Erie Family Health Center here in Chicago and, second, as the program lead of the Accountable Care Collaborative at Colorado's Medicaid agency. Through both, I've seen how well designed and executed delivery models and policies can advance whole person care and wellbeing and how the public health-care system is connected to other public systems.

I want to build upon my experience and lessons learned to continue to help weave and connect the public health-care system to other social services by designing and scaling cross-system delivery innovations. Whether that be as the CEO of a safety net hospital, a state Medicaid director, or the head of a social innovation incubator, I ultimately want to contribute to the creation of a more coherent social fabric for my neighbors and community members with complex health and social needs.

What skills are you looking to develop at Booth and implement into your sector?

My experience has shown me that human-centered innovations abound in many communities, that good policies can be informed by these innovations and, ultimately, support them, and that scaling these innovations and achieving tangible success requires the collective work and buy-in of many different voices. To those ends, I am particularly excited about developing sharper skills in behavioral science, operations management, and leadership. Additionally, I am excited to participate in centers and initiatives like the Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation and the UChicago Urban Labs. Together, the combination of new coursework and real-time experience will help me to better identify and scale community-based innovations and solutions for my neighbors and community members with complex health and social needs.

Why is an MBA important in the nonprofit and government sector?

Over the course of my career, I have come to realize a core task of a public and social sector professional is actually a fundamental business challenge: how do I steward and manage the resources I am given to achieve optimal success? In the social sector, success isn't just the financial viability of an organization but the flourishing and wellbeing of the individuals the organization serves. In order to achieve that level of success, it is critical that public and social sector leaders have the skills and ability to excellently answer that core business challenge. As I reviewed my options for graduate school, I realized an MBA was the best fit for my career aspirations and directly aligned with the core mission of my sector.

Which program format did you choose and why?

As a professional with more than a decade of experience, I toyed a lot with a part-time program. Ultimately, I chose the full-time program because I wanted an immersive and residential space to reflect on my experience and to develop new skills for my future. Booth and the overall UChicago community have incredible resources and supports, and I felt like only a full-time program would come close to maximizing them.