Asha Matthews 2016
MPA, Healthcare Management Emphasis
Hometown: Bethpage, NY
Undergraduate College and Major: Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Theology Minor, St. Bonaventure University
How and why did you decide to apply for The College at Brockport MPA program?
Throughout my undergraduate career, I have focused my studies mostly on the sciences because it was something I was always good at and enjoyed learning about, but it was never my real passion. So at the end of my senior year of college, I decided I did not want to head toward medical school, even though I had already gotten into Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Instead, I looked up programs that did not require the GRE (since it was already April) and came across the MPA program at SUNY Brockport. I applied right away because it seemed like an opportunity to enhance my leadership skills in relation to public service. Knowing that I would rather be doing background work for the betterment of the hospital system in itself, rather than dealing directly with patients, an MPA with a concentration in Healthcare Administration just seemed right. Even though it was a spontaneous decision, I am glad I have been able to further my education where professors genuinely care and are highly knowledgeable about what they teach, especially from their real-life experiences that they bring to class.
During my time at Saint Bonaventure, the most rewarding experience I have had was working as a “Student Coordinator” for a student-run soup kitchen, The Warming House. My job ranged from coming up with a meal plan for up to 50 underprivileged individuals, coordinating with volunteers to get certain tasks done, cleaning up, and getting things ready for the following day. It was a life changing experience because I had formed relationships with people that have welcomed me into their lives not just as someone who attempts to cook tasty meals, but as a leader in the community. After graduating, I had the opportunity to take this experience to the next level by working through AmeriCorps at the local farm near St. Bonaventure: Canticle Farm. I was given an inside look to what goes on behind producing the vegetables that The Warming House received.
What have you enjoyed most about the program so far?
I think the best part about this program is how a majority of the classes engage students in group work. It is extremely important for any type of leader to be able to work with others and for it to be incorporated into the curriculum prepares a deeper understanding of collaboration.
What are your future goals?
Personally, I am not too sure where I will end up but I am looking forward to getting experience through the internship opportunity that the MPA program ends with. I would like to work as a Healthcare Administrator and, eventually, become a Project Coordinator for an organization that deals with some health condition, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
What advice do you have for future students?
Anyone looking into this program should know that while the course load is rigorous, it is completely doable and professors are willing to work with you so that you are successful. My advice would be to really immerse yourself in classes, try to participate even if you do not know the answers, and it’ll be a worthwhile experience.