After Seun Matthew earned his bachelor’s and doctorate of medicine in 2008 in his home country of Nigeria, he started his career as a medical doctor. However, his passion was in developing novel medications to treat diseases that do not yet have a cure, so Seun joined the pharmaceutical and clinical research industry when he came to the United States by way of Maryland. Seun started as a project assistant with a pharmaceutical company that developed antiviral drugs and later became a clinical research associate. With each move, he worked his way up in the clinical research industry.
A new opportunity
In 2014, Seun joined a leading contract research organization that works in more than 60 countries. He started as a senior clinical research associate, performing feasibility studies for biotech and other pharmaceutical clients. “I like the company because I’m getting exposed to the drug development process in countries all over the world,” he says. “They are rapidly growing and have a very clear mission and vision. It’s an excellent place to be.”
To continue his career trajectory, Seun began thinking about earning a master’s degree soon after joining his current employer. “I looked around at the directors and others in leadership roles at my company, and many of them have MBAs,” he says. “I have a strong healthcare background, so it seemed like a healthcare-focused MBA would suit me best. That’s what led me to American Sentinel University.”
Stood out from the rest
Seun considered many schools in the Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia area, but says that American Sentinel’s MBA Healthcare program—and online format—were the best fit. He even had the opportunity to correspond with American Sentinel’s CEO, Rick Oliver. “Rick was an inspiration,” Seun says. “He shared his own professional journey with me and it was clear that he cared. I felt that the resources that American Sentinel would offer me were so attractive. The fact that I had the chance to talk with the school’s founder and the healthcare administration focus of the MBA were both deciding factors for me. American Sentinel stood out from the rest.”
Beginning the MBA journey
In 2015, Seun started the MBA Healthcare program at American Sentinel—right as his personal life was in transition. His daughter was born just a few months into the program. “It wasn’t easy, but I feel that American Sentinel does a great job of laying out exactly what you need to do to succeed,” he says. “I was able to balance work and life successfully, and I was able to apply what I learned in my project-based program to my job, which my employer found very valuable.” Seun finished his course work for the MBA Healthcare in early 2017.
A promotion and the 2017 American Sentinel Dean’s Award
Within a month of completing the MBA Healthcare, a lead clinical research associate position opened up at Seun’s company. With the degree completed, he was a strong candidate for the job—and was hired. “It’s difficult today to get a lead position without a master’s degree, so my education definitely helped me get there,” he says.
At the 2017 commencement, Seun was named a recipient of the Dean’s Award, which signifies the highest grade point average in his program. He attended the American Sentinel ceremony in Denver earlier this month to accept the honor. “It was such a pleasant surprise, and I couldn’t have achieved it without the support of my family, faculty coach and Carmen, my student success advisor,” he says.
To others considering the MBA Healthcare, Seun advises them to not be afraid to take a leap of faith. “If you have a defined path you want to follow in the healthcare field, this degree will make a world of difference,” he says. “The program is structured, but not rigid. The projects can be tailored to your job so your employer sees the impact of the education you’re receiving. Overall, this is a great program that helps you better yourself and stand apart.”
Inspired by Seun’s story? An MBA Healthcare is perfect for healthcare professionals seeking to lead in the rapidly evolving healthcare industry. Specialized knowledge forms the foundation of nursing and when you acquire new knowledge, you can apply it to nursing practice in ways that enhance patient care and improve outcomes.