Meet recent graduates Harsha Nayyar (BS, Health Administration, ’21) and Kelly Simons, (BS, Health Administration, ’20). Nayyar and Simons share insights and advice for students considering a degree and career in health administration.
What are your career goals now that you have graduated?
Nayyar: My goal after graduation is to excel in the field of healthcare administration, make new connections through networking and obtain a job position at the leadership & management level.
Simons: In 2022, I will start my graduate degree in health administration.
Why is it important for students interested in careers in Health Administration to do a practicum?
Nayyar: Skills that I think are most important are teamwork & collaboration, critical thinking (thinking about your own thinking), leadership, detail-oriented, and most importantly, excellent communication skills.
Simons: Students interested in professions in health administration [because] it teaches students how to lead and manage operations. Practical experience is also the most valuable instrument that an individual can have in their profession.
The internship at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital doesn’t sound like the “run of the mill” internship experience… what makes this internship unique and valuable?
Nayyar: Stacey will have you move around the hospital and give exposure to so many different departments and people. She will not let you work on just one kind of project, but she will assign you a variety of projects which will prepare the students for their future healthcare career. The kind of projects that Stacey assigned to me when I was an intern and leading the group, gave me a magnificent experience and prepared me well for my current job.
Simons: The internship is unique in that it teaches individuals how to think critically and analytically. It also teaches students to be sympathetic and engaged listeners. The most valuable aspect of the internship is when the mentor and staff use the interns' work to improve the organization.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in studying Heath Administration and considering an internship?
Nayyar: My advice to future aspirants is to become proactive and always ask questions. Grab as many opportunities as you can to learn something new, volunteer for projects because that is how you will get the best possible exposure, make connections with staff, and join them on LinkedIn.
Simons: My recommendation to students pursuing an internship while studying healthcare administration is as follows:
- Set goals: Think about what you want to get out of your internship and what you want to learn. Talk to your mentor about your interests and see if there are any opportunities for you to get engaged in those areas.
- Watch and learn: It's crucial to understand and act in accordance with an organization's culture.
- Professionalism- Be aware of how you show yourself to the organization's leaders. Keep in mind that everyone is watching.