Integrate and Elevate: The Untapped Resource of Multiculturalism

Michael Presley
Michael Presley

Michael Presley brings more than 36 years of legal experience in the health care field, developing the legal design and corporate structure for the primary care practice networks of United MSO. As a licensed attorney and licensed health care risk manager in Florida, Presley developed this network structure in a way that can permissibly cross state lines without being restricted by the corporate practice of medicine rules. As both the Chief Risk Officer and Chief Administration Officer for United MSO, Presley oversees all ACO committee functions. Presley’s risk and administrative functions extend over the intake of primary care practices; negotiating operating agreements binding the ACOs with United MSO as a limited partnership; and reviewing the results of the acquisition analytics with a view towards risk scoring, stratification, and assimilation of each practice and corresponding ACO into United MSO’s network. As a member of law review and a graduate with honors from Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, Presley has served the health care community since 1980. Presley is currently working on his MBA degree at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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One of the greatest benefits of coming to Carey is students’ access to multiculturalism and diversity. In this article, I want to discuss the subject of multiculturalism and diversity and how students of different cultures can not only integrate into American society but come to excel.

One would think that I already know the full benefits of diversification considering that I am first generation American of Filipino, Irish, Italian, and German descent. But being reared in the 60’s and 70’s in a predominantly Italian and Jewish neighborhood in New Jersey, I had nothing else to compare myself to, so for the most part I viewed the world from an Italian and Jewish tradition. After all, most of my friends were Italian and Jewish. My identification was thus the same as those with whom I interacted.

My horizons were broadened as a result of the Carey administrators and faculty who have, I think, intentionally designed the learning experience to open us up to appreciating a multicultural perspective. The online learning environment centers mainly on the students and their ability to interact and learn from and with other students. Carey faculty design their courses with a heavy emphasis on group study, group discussions (through that dreaded Blackboard platform), and group projects. Engagement is key to growth and to a better understanding of the world.

Having been exposed to many different students from many different countries, my fist observation is that each student has a powerful intellect. And everyone has their own cultural way of expressing that intellect. While the latter commonality is a beautiful thing to behold, it can lead to misunderstanding by an American firm if not properly harnessed. So for all the multicultural students reading this blog post, I not only want you to integrate into the American society, because that is legally guaranteed, I also want you to “elevate” into our society. I want you to stay, thrive, “live long and prosper (Spock, Star Trek 1969).”

To elevate one must be able to live in communion with those he works with. The graduate must have his or her intellect understood. Small and mid-sized firms can offer a space where that can happen. They not only have the need for such intellect, they have the time to cultivate it, giving you room to grow and elevate into higher positions of control faster than you would into a larger global entity.

Many mid-size and small firms have run their businesses mainly through intuition and using traditional accounting practices. In many instances there is the need for more quantitative studies to be deployed for the business to remain competitive in the open market. Very often, partnership potential exists because of the inability to pay competitive salaries on a straight salary basis.

When I worked in groups with students from other cultures, I noticed a tremendous reservoir of ideas waiting for expression. To succeed and excel, I encourage those students to seek the small to mid-sized firm that can dedicate the time to mentor them during initial phases of work. See if the employer is willing to allow for this mentoring process to mature. Interview the company as much as they would interview you. Your elevation and key to happiness depend on it.

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