For Megan Waltz, getting a master’s degree has been long time in the making. She says, “I talked about getting my MBA for the past fifteen years and finally took the plunge!” Waltz jumped in to the MBA in Health Systems Leadership program at Edgewood College in Spring 2012 and graduated this May, as part of the program’s first-ever graduating class (seen here at the Deming Way campus).
As Director of Culinary and Clinical Nutrition for the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Waltz says Edgewood College’s program stood out to her. “I really liked the focus on healthcare and I like the flexibility that Edgewood College had to offer with evening and online classes.”
The College’s reputation reinforced her choice. “I wanted to pursue my MBA at an institution where I believed I would receive a great education and Edgewood College has an excellent reputation,” she says.
When she first started the program, she was working as a registered dietician. Today, in her current position as Director of Culinary and Clinical Nutrition, she’s responsible for oversight of two large areas of the organization. “So I now need to look more broadly at how my role and my department affects patient care, our employees and the financial results of the organization,” Waltz says. The MBA in Health Systems Leadership “helped me gain a more comprehensive understanding of healthcare, my organization and my role in it,” she says.
Waltz has appreciated the opportunity to work and attend school simultaneously and has benefited from her employer’s support. “UW Health has been very flexible with my work schedule so I can attend classes and meet with my instructors at various times of the day. They have also helped support me financially to complete my degree.”
Waltz has been able to directly apply what she’s learned in the classroom to her day-to-day responsibilities. “I completed a number of projects that were class assignments as part of the program using information and data from my workplace,” she says. “I was then able to utilize the project results to help implement positive changes in the department.” She also notes that faculty, with expertise in a variety of areas, “provided guidance and expert advice on these projects.”
“I have enjoyed getting to know the instructors in the program who have many years of experience in their respective areas, as well as other students in the program who are also colleagues in the Greater Madison area who work in a variety of healthcare roles,” she adds.
Looking ahead, Waltz says she’s “very excited,” adding that the past six months have challenged her. “It often felt like there are not enough hours in the day to complete everything that I need to complete. But it was well worth the time and energy put into the program.”