by Bobbin Wages
Despite her liberal arts background, Callie Lensing is successfully pursuing a career in healthcare practice administration.
Like a lot of recent college graduates, Callie Lensing dabbled in several vocations before deciding to pursue a master’s degree and clearly define her career. She admired her friend’s job as a healthcare consultant from afar and found that industry so interesting that she decided to enroll in the Robinson College of Business’ dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Health Administration program. “I knew I wanted to go back to school in business but wanted to have a specialty, so Robinson was perfect,” Lensing says.
Lensing earned an undergraduate degree in mass communications and joined Teach for America for two years, therefore entering the MBA/MHA program with no applicable experience. In order to establish some grounding in the field, Lensing is completing an internship at Kids Health First, an independent practice association. Under the CEO’s mentorship, Lensing attends critical meetings and is involved in multiple projects that she will present to the board at the end of the summer. Lensing also works part-time as an operations assistant at Peachtree Park Pediatrics.
Since so many Institute of Health Administration professors hail from the industry, Lensing has gained real-world insight from coursework as well. As part of Care Management and Delivery Systems (HA 8680), taught by associate professor Patricia Ketsche, Lensing participated in a three-week case competition that required students to evaluate a failing, cash-strapped hospital and develop a plausible action plan. “Someone from the consulting firm presented us with the case and told us the rest of the story so we could compare our solutions to what really happened,” Lensing recalls.
Lensing’s classmates have enhanced her academic experience, too. One of her peers serves as the vice president of Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, a nonprofit hospital specializing in care for patients suffering from spinal cord or brain injuries. “In the beginning the rest of us were a lot less experienced, but [the vice president] has ended up learning from our perspectives as well,” Lensing explains. “The wide variety of experience and skills really enriches our discussions.”
Lensing also interacts with classmates as a member of Future Healthcare Executives, a student organization that facilitates field trips to health provider sites, hosts panel discussions, and offers other professional development opportunities.
Because the healthcare sector currently is facing a lot of upheaval and change, Lensing considers her future job in practice administration both exciting and indispensable. Her role will require not only the expertise the MBA/MHA program will provide but also quick adaptation to evolving payment schemes and medical technologies. “With all this uncertainty, healthcare administrators will become even more valuable,” Lensing says.
Lensing is well-positioned to secure employment after graduation this December. Despite her liberal arts background, Robinson’s MBA/MHA program will enable Lensing to overhaul her career.