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"It Gives You a Larger Voice" Says University of Sioux Falls Healthcare MBA Grad

Aug 29, 2017 03:43PM ● By Alex Strauss

By: Alex Strauss

It is not unusual for adult students to decide to pursue an MBA because they want to take their careers in a different direction. But in Tessa Olsen’s case, USF’s MBA program was all about accelerating her down the path she was already on.

“I think you don’t get a master’s degree unless you are serious about what you want to do,” says Olsen, a Diagnostic Radiology Supervisor at Sanford who graduated from the Healthcare MBA program last October. “I intent to stay in this for life.”

Olsen graduated from USF in 2009 with a BS in Radiologic Technology and has been with Sanford for ten years. With an ultimate goal of teaching others to do what she does, Olsen chose pursue an MBA with a view toward eventually running an accredited program.

“It is getting to the point now where it is very difficult to move into any kind of leadership position in healthcare without an MBA,” she says. “It is a pretty much a necessity.”

Although Olsen considered several different MBA programs, she ultimately settled on USF’s 2- year program because it was local, it offered one-day per week schedule that allowed her to continue to work fulltime at Sanford (“Dropping down to one income was not an options,” she says), and because it was surprisingly affordable.

“Investing in your MBA tells your boss that you are serious about your job,” says Olsen, who adds that her new knowledge has already afforded her opportunities to learn about budgeting and other “inner workings” in her department.

“It has even given me insight into things I was doing that I had no idea why,” says Olsen. “For instance, I order supplies for our department. It is so helpful to to learn the cost accounting implications of it all.”

While most of her fellow students came to the program from careers in the healthcare field, Olsen says she appreciated the chance to interact with business students from other fields, as she did in her Leadership and Ethics class. “It was really interesting to see this totally different mindset. It really gave you perspective on what is unique about healthcare,” she says.

Even Olsen’s colleagues have benefitted from her training when they have asked what she has learned that she could apply in a given situation. Thanks to her degree, she is now able to offer thoughtful, knowledge-based solutions.

 “Healthcare is so complicated now and there are so many moving parts,” she says. “Having an MBA really gives you a larger voice.”