“Right now, I’m in a career that I absolutely love, and I have degrees that nobody can ever take away from me,” says Susan Headley, American Sentinel MBA Health Care 2013 graduate. Getting to where she is today, however, has taken commitment, hard work and keeping in sight her longtime dream of holding a doctorate degree.
Susan graduated high school in 1999 in Oklahoma without any intention of going to college. But after several years working in a variety of jobs, Susan decided to take a class at Macon State College in Macon, Ga. She was hooked. At first, Susan bounced around in different fields of study, from education to psychology, but she ultimately came to business. Susan earned associate and bachelor’s degrees in business administration in 2011.
Discovering Health Care
In 2010, Susan landed a job at Macon Occupational Medicine, when a Macon State classmate who also worked there referred her to an open position. The facility services businesses throughout Georgia, providing pre-employment physical examination screenings, rehabilitation services, health and wellness programs and much more. Susan’s first position was checking in patients, which soon evolved into managing all patient cases. Today, she handles patient diagnostic testing and physical therapy appointments, but she also acts as the liaison between her facility and insurance companies. She’s also become knowledgeable about federal workers’ compensation issues.
Onward and Upward
When she started college 12 years ago, Susan decided that one day, she wanted to earn a terminal degree. So, after completing her bachelor’s, she didn’t want to lose momentum. She chose to continue on to graduate school immediately. This time, however, she decided to go online.
“A friend had gone to American Sentinel University and said great things,” Susan says. Through her job at the occupational medicine facility, she’d learned that health care is an ever-changing field with ample opportunity—and American Sentinel’s MBA Health Care was right up her alley. “I want to excel in my health care career, and with my educational background and experience, I didn’t want just a general MBA. This program grabbed me right away, and I didn’t find another one like it in my research.”
Next Stop: Doctor of Business Administration
In June 2013, Susan graduated with an MBA Health Care and celebrated the achievement by flying out to Colorado for commencement—with her mom by her side. She had the opportunity to meet in person some of the American Sentinel “cheerleaders” who helped her along: a classmate, several professors and her student success advisor, Roxanne Hernandez. “Meeting her and attending graduation was one of the greatest moments of my life,” Susan says. She is currently researching business doctorate programs. She hopes to start in early 2014.
For Susan, just as exciting as the prospect of holding a doctorate degree is finding the career for her. “I genuinely love what I do and I especially love the case management side of things,” she says. “All day long, I get to interact with all kinds of people, and in the end, I know I’ve helped patients get better or I’ve sent them on to someone who can.”