Sometimes health is like a puzzle. Scott Williams, MBA’20, is a personal trainer and a health educator for WebMD Health Services. He likens his work to fitting all the right pieces of a person’s life together to create a healthy lifestyle.
“When I see people make progress, and when the exercises and techniques I recommend take root, it’s like seeing a puzzle come together,” says Scott. “Conditioning someone to achieve their goals is a big puzzle, and I enjoy solving it for each person.”
An experienced personal trainer, Scott is accustomed to helping one client at a time, However, he found himself wanting to make a greater impact on his clientele and patients.
“I wanted to give myself a wide, marketable skill set to complement one that is more narrowly focused,” he said.
Scott enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Medical Management (GCMM) at the top-ranked Kelley School of Business. As a student in the school’s Evening MBA Program, Scott decided to add the graduate certificate to give a greater healthcare focus to his business degree.
“Adding this graduate certificate to my MBA allows me greater access to the healthcare field,” he says. “It helps me move further into healthcare—one of the fastest growing areas of the service sector and one that will be very stable and lucrative for the rest of our lifetimes.”
The first student to complete both programs, Scott says the combination of the Graduate Certificate in Medical Management and the Evening MBA created a double dose of business that allowed first for knowledge absorption and then direct application.
“The graduate certificate gave me a second bite of the apple because many of the concepts transferred directly from the Evening MBA; the two programs complement one another nicely,” he says. “For instance, I got a second look at finance through the Value Creation course, a second look at strategy through the Healthcare System Strategy and Innovation course and another take on leadership through the lens of healthcare from the Leading People and Managing Behavior course. I found these courses to be very useful.”
Like many healthcare professionals, Scott entered the fitness and wellness fields to help people. As he gained greater business acumen through the Graduate Certificate in Medical Management, he saw wider professional opportunities in the area of healthcare administration and greater chances to impact patients.
“When you are literate in the business side of healthcare, you can earn administrative roles, which allow you to improve the outcomes of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of patients,” he says. “It multiplies your influence as a clinician.”
The knowledge equipped Scott with a new lens to view his work in personal training and health education. The formal business background lends credibility to his instincts about which direction to take.
“When you work in a gym, you learn there are a few naturally segmented groups of people: the 5 a.m. crowd, the 8:30-10:30 a.m. group classes and the after-work clients. Now, I have the language to describe these groups more fully and understand the concepts around what to do with those segments,” says Scott. “Now, I have academic credentials to back up my experience, which is encouraging.”
During the graduate certificate program, students work though healthcare-specific case studies and learn best practices for implementing and leading change in their industries. Scott believes training healthcare professionals in business will positively change the future of healthcare.
Now, I have academic credentials to back up my experience, which is encouraging.”
“There’s always been a tension between the clinicians and the ‘suits’ in healthcare. The people who will resolve it will have literacy on both sides,” he says. “Having the information from the graduate certificate and understanding the needs from both sides allows me to support the healthcare industry as it evolves.”
While Scott began the Evening MBA Program first and then enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Medical Management, the credits apply in the reverse, too.
“The GCMM is a great way to dip your toe in the water and start with one class,” says Scott. “The genius thing about this program is it’s set up on a rotating schedule so you can jump in at any time, and no matter when you start, you get the full experience.”
Part of that experience is meeting a diverse cohort of other healthcare professionals who understand the value of having expertise in the business of healthcare. Scott says his expanded network at Kelley was useful during his studies and will serve him long after graduation.
“Healthcare is a huge sector, and gaining perspectives from peers in psychiatry and pharmacology, for example, gives me a glimpse into different worlds within the universe of healthcare,” he says.
“The Graduate Certificate in Medical Management has allowed me to explore different aspects of the healthcare industry, which has been great from a networking standpoint. I can now text a therapist with a question, or if I want to know more about senior care, I know whom to ask. Kelley has helped me expand my network as well as my knowledge.”