MBA Student Pursues Administrative Hospital Fellowship

June 09, 2015

Grace Goodhew

Grace Goodhew '15SM talks about the value of a fellowship to explore career options and tips on finding a fellowship.

MBA graduate, Grace Goodhew '15SM, starts as an Administrative Fellow for Geisinger Health System in Pennsylvania this summer. Grace had a strong interest in health management during her MBA studies and was specifically interested in health care for the aged. Cathy Robbins, Director of the Health Care MBA, advised her to consider a fellowship, which would give her a sense of several areas in a hospital or health care system and help her determine her next career step.

Grace shared her tips and experiences on the fellowship process: 

  • Narrow your list: The large number of available fellowships and the application process can be overwhelming so it is important to narrow your list. Grace focused on only 2-year fellowships that would allow more time to develop professionally. She focused on project-based fellowships vs. structured fellowships and further narrowed her search by geographic location.
  • Applications require organization: The applications are somewhat standard and typically include a statement of purpose, recommendations, phone calls with the programs, transcripts, cover letters, application checklist, and a resume. While each program had a different deadline, Grace submitted all the documents for each program at the same time. This allowed her to complete her applications before classes began in September.
  • Tailor your statement of purpose to each application: Grace started by putting together a spreadsheet with the mission, vision, values, history of the hospital/system and then used it all to create her statement. The SOM Career Services Office reviewed Grace’s drafts for the applications. Grace said their feedback was invaluable and helped her shape the written portion of her application.
  • Interviews - be prepared: To prepare for the interviews, create a list of potential questions and practice in front of the mirror to feel comfortable. Grace had several interviews in different formats: phone, Skype, and in person. While at Geisinger, Grace had interviews, tours, dinner and other meals, and a presentation over the course of two and a half days. An exhausting process, Grace said the interview is constant and you’re always “on” during this process as you meet with so many people from the health care system in a very condensed period of time. 

As you progress through the process, Grace suggested:

  • Have a strategy for each application.
  • Smile during your interviews- phone, Skype, in person. Let your personality show along with your professional aspirations.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about your personal interests outside of your career if asked. This is important to many fellowship programs.
  • Know each place you’re interviewing and show that you’ve done your research. Develop a list of talking points.
  • Take advantage of the networking opportunities during interviews, you’re meeting your future peers in the health care sector.
  • Expect rejection during the fellowship program. It’s a competitive process and it’s important to apply to several programs if you’re serious about starting a fellowship.