Online Student Driving Changes in Health Care Industry
In some ways, Shantay Davies’ career path was decided by her birth. Davies said she grew up in a “predominantly black, poor, underserved community,” where there was an increased risk of premature birth and infant mortality. She saw these outcomes first-hand as a child. She decided she was going to help change that.
“We were having the same conversations as an adult we had when I was kid,” she said. “I knew then I wanted to be close to health care.”
Davies graduated with an undergraduate degree in health administration. She split the next 10 years working as a marketing manager and in business development, her work only tangentially touching health care.
But in 2015, Davies decided it was time to return to her passion and focus. She landed a job working as a regional liaison in California for the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, a federally-funded supplemental nutrition program. In her role, Davies advocates to physicians and health care organizations on the priorities laid out by the program.
After a year on the job, Davies wanted to take her career to the next level with a graduate degree. Her decision was driven by two main factors: get a degree from the best university possible without completely disrupting her work and personal life. This made the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School’s Flexible MBA program a perfect fit.
“It’s always been my goal to be associated with the highest caliber institution that I possibly could. When it comes to health care, everyone knows the Johns Hopkins name,” she said. “The Johns Hopkins reputation was a driving factor for me; plus I’m interested in research down the line. I knew I would have a phenomenally rich and superior learning experience.”
The second factor, she said, was the convenience of the hybrid program. The hybrid online program allows student to take classes online and in-person. While some of the classes are conducted via recorded lectures, others are done via live web sessions. Online students can also participate in optional “live sync sessions” where professors and students in engage in dialogue outside of class time.
“At this point in my career and life, it would have been impossible for me to attend Johns Hopkins without the hybrid option,” she said.
Davies said the experience of taking classes online has been positive, and that she’s been surprised by the vibrancy of the online community.
“I have really loved the network of people, engaging with my fellow students and professors,” she said. “The ability to meet and engage with professional colleagues that I never would have the opportunity to meet, had it not been for this program.”
Her MBA experience at Johns Hopkins is already paying off. Recently, she accepted a role with the March of Dimes to serve as the Maternal Child Health Director for the Central California market.