Being accepted into a school’s MHA program is only the beginning to a long and successful career in the health care industry. One of the best ways to succeed, other than studying hard, is to network as much as possible. Networking opens up a vast array of possibilities which would otherwise go unnoticed. Graduates that networked during their MHA program will discover that they have an entire array of resources at their fingertips. Read on to learn the best ways someone can network during their time in school.
Join Clubs and Organizations at School
It seems like even the smallest and most obscure school has a club that fits every major and interest. Joining one of those clubs is the easiest way for students to begin networking. Remember, you want to make as many contacts in the industry AND with other students to help your career. Clubs are headed by esteemed professors with experience in the industry, thus it works to a student’s advantage to become a member of the clubs. Not to mention that members with network with other like-minded individuals which can assist them in their career journey in the future.
Volunteering is a great way for students to become accustomed to an organization from the inside. The MHA field is very diverse and wide open, so there are many of opportunities for students to volunteer with a variety of businesses and organizations before committing to work for one. Some of the organizations and businesses MHA students have volunteered with are non-profits, nursing homes, hospitals and big health care firms.
MHA students can enter competitions to further their networking opportunities. Competitions are unique because they allow many students to interact with MHA leaders that they may never have come into contact with previously. If the student(s) win one of these competitions, not only will it jumpstart their future MHA careers, but it would give them the backing they would need to really launch their future careers in the right direction. One student that we heard of placing in one such competition, received$2,000, an invitation to the Congress on Healthcare Leadership in Washington D.C. and travel expenses paid to attend the Congress in Chicago.
Work or Intern
The best health care experiences come courtesy of working or interning with an organization, company, non-profit or business with a focus on healthcare. We recommend this path once you have narrowed your interests down to one (working) or two (interning) kinds of markets within the industry. Interning and working can help you learn about your employer’s work ethic from the inside out and will give you valuable contacts once you decide on your career path. Interning will allow you to explore you interest in working for a large, health care business one semester and interning with a private hospital the next. It is all about exploring options and if you have a fantastic work ethic, your employers will remember that which is only going to help you in the long run. Another great reason to intern or work is the accessibility to mentors. Mentors are a crucial tool to use in the real-world and their vast knowledge of what it needed to succeed will be passed along to their mentees.
Networking is a valuable currency that MHA students should invest in and build on to further their careers. It gives students access to otherwise invisible opportunities which they can use as the building blocks to a successful career in the health care industry.