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Healthy Times - Fall 2005

Student Profile: Education helps HSA student reach career goals

Even as a young girl, Tyra Tomlin, a graduate student in UDM’s Health Services Administration program, always knew she wanted to pursue a career in health care.  “I never had a fear of doctors when I was growing up,” says Tomlin. “I never wanted to work anywhere else but in a hospital.”

To make that career choice a reality, Tomlin began researching universities with health care programs. 

 “I kept hearing that UDM was a great school.  I liked the small campus and that the Health Services Administration program catered to working people,” says Tomlin, who is married and the mother of two school-age children.  Pleased with her findings, especially the personal interaction with the counselors, Tomlin earned a bachelor’s degree in this program in May 2003 and immediately began her graduate studies. She expects to graduate in May 2006 with her master’s degree.

An internship in the Marketing and Planning department at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland led to her current role as coordinator of Mission Integration where she applies her classroom experiences on a daily basis.  “My job is to ensure that the hospital keeps in line with its mission and ethics,” says Tomlin, who aspires toward a management position that impacts hospital policies.

On top of classes and full-time work, Tomlin leads the local student chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE). She is the organization’s president for the second consecutive year. Her involvement allows her to share her passion for the health care industry and generate awareness of the diverse job options available to students with degrees in Health Services Administration. 

Tomlin also plans to guide the chapter by building on last year’s successes.  She will continue to enlist leaders from local health care organizations as guest speakers and she intends to provide members with plenty of networking and mentoring opportunities.

“My advice to students is to network, network, network,” says Tomlin. “Also, join professional healthcare organizations; volunteer whenever you can; grab a mentor and have a positive attitude.”