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A Management Student's Self-Discovery through Service Learning

By Meaghan Cayer on April 10, 2017
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Joy Dodson has a long history of working in Boston hospitals. 

She worked for Boston Medical Center for 7 years in their Finance Department. She worked at Partners Healthcare when it was just Mass General Hospital, before it merged with Brigham and Women's Hospital. She worked at Tufts Medical Center when it was New England Medical Center. And she worked at Cambridge Hospital. 

Joy now works as a reimbursement analyst at the Center for Health Information Analysis (CHIA), but she looks fondly back on her experience working in hospitals. So when it came time to choose a company for her Management Senior Seminar project, she knew just who to pick. 

"I've worked at a lot of hospitals in the area, but Boston Medical Center was my favorite," said Joy. "Out of all the hospitals I worked at, I feel like they don't get a fair shot. That's why I picked them for this project." 

The semester-long Senior Seminar project consisted of four phases. First, students chose a company whose mission connected with their interests and career path. Then, the students gathered information through primary sources (employees, close competitors, customers), secondary sources (articles, websites, US census data) and in-person observation. The students parsed through this information, identified patterns and cause-and-effect linkages, then restructed the information to build solutions. The final product was a 40-50-page report on the business, including a set of recommendations and an action plan, all of which was presented to the business. 

In the end, students have the opportunity to practice what they've learned throughout their time in the Bay State College Management program, and businesses receive a free, in-depth analysis and action plan for their organization. 

Joy, however, got a whole lot more out of the experience. 

"Bay State has me thinking about where I see myself going as an individual – my next steps. Do I want to continue my education and get a master's degree? There are programs out there for Finance, Healthcare, MBA. With this project, I'm looking at my past experience in the hospital industry and it's helping me decide- do I want to continue working at the state level, or do I still have this passion for working in a hospital? I feel like I do." 

We look forward to seeing how Joy uses her Bay State College degree in the future, and whether she chooses the finance or healthcare route once she graduates this summer! 

Click here to learn more about Bay State College Service Learning.