New Grad Says MBA Allowed Her to ‘Grow with the Company’
Some people enter an MBA program as a stepping stone to new opportunities and new places. Marla Dziedzic, Director of Staff Development for Avera Health, saw the MBA program at the University of Sioux Falls as a way to progress along with the organization she loves.
“Before I went into the program, I was an education consultant at Avera working with things like onboarding,” says Dziedzic. “When I started my master’s program, my ultimate goal was to develop my own skills so that I could one day grow with the company. “
And that’s exactly what happened. Dziedzic, who holds a business degree in Marketing and Management from Creighton, was encouraged to pursue her MBA by Avera higher-ups.
“Here at Avera, they really want to develop their employees and they thought this would be a good step for me. I’m not sure I would have jumped into it if I hadn’t had a little bit of a push,” says Dziedzic.
As she considered her options, Dziedzic says USF’s cohort learning model seemed like a better fit than online-only MBA programs. “Online programs can be convenient but I didn’t feel like a strict online program was for me at the time. I liked the cohort model, which has you working with a range of people from different backgrounds. It was one of the things that prompted me to choose the USF program over other programs.”
She started her MBA program in 2012 and finished this summer. Partway into her studies, Dziedzic was promoted to her current position with Avera Health, where she says she is already applying what she’s learned every day.
“I moved from working with one region at Avera McKennan to working with the entire system and one of the things that it has really helped me do is to take a more strategic approach.,” says Dziedzic. “The MBA program has helped me learn to apply a more visionary focus, which has been very important for my team. I have also found some of the communication and finance aspects to be very valuable. I look at numbers very differently than I did before.”
USF offers both a standard MBA and a healthcare track. Dziedzic close to go the traditional route since her background was in business rather than medicine.
“Particularly if you are managing people, I feel like the program provides you with the platform you need to grow and understand the challenges and complexities of the healthcare environment,” she says. “Having these tools is going to help me grow both personally and professionally.”