Testimonials from Past and Current Administrative Fellows
How did your Fellowship lay the groundwork for your career?
Charlotte Westcob (2016 – 2017): The fellowship year gives you a level of career exposure and professional development that most healthcare administrators can only hope to receive years into their professional careers. You have access to every facet of the healthcare organization, from shadowing front-line staff to being at the table for high-level strategic discussions. This breadth of exposure not only helps you determine your area of professional interest, but also develops a strong foundation for the rest of your career path.
Eric Morris (2016 – 2017): For MHA/MHSA (or similar degree) students who are interested in broad exposure to organizational leadership and projects to pursue interests in healthcare administration, an Administrative Fellowship is a great opportunity. Wake Forest Baptist Health is a fantastic option for those interested, as it offers many learning opportunities specific to an Academic Medical Center with clinical, academic, and research enterprises all within a growing healthcare system.
Kelly Rosenfeld (2012-2013): The
Fellowship experience allowed me the opportunity to explore various interests
while gaining hands on experience. In my current role, I work closely with
independent physician practices that are pursing the option to become members of a large health system. A piece of my role involves connecting these
practices with various stakeholders in the health system, and many of these
internal relationships were built during my Fellowship year. Additionally, the
financial skill that goes into these potential relationships was learned during
several Fellowship projects.
Monica Leslie (2011-2012): The completion of the Administrative Fellowship at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center provided me with broad exposure to the organization through involvement in projects and initiatives within the areas of Nursing Operations, Ambulatory Services, Finance, Performance Excellence, Support Services, and Surgical Services. Personally, I believe I benefitted most from the freedom I was given to allocate my time to an array of projects in areas in which I had specific interest in adding value to. Additionally, participation in leadership meetings at the highest level coupled with involvement in the implementation of projects at the line-level allowed me to develop a holistic prospective of the Medical Center. From strategy setting and grant writing , to patient satisfaction, leadership rounds and new technology implementation, this Fellowship gives you the opportunity to do it all!
Amanda Backus (2010-2011): The Fellowship provided me with the opportunity to be exposed to a variety of projects and experiences that allowed me to turn a possible career area of interest into a full-time position.
Lauren Mathena (2009-2010): As a transition between graduate school and a first job, the Fellowship provides a unique opportunity to gain a comprehensive, high-level view of the entire organization while simultaneously gaining in-depth understanding and experience in specific areas which are most interesting to me. I believe this understanding and experience will lay the groundwork for my career by making me a more a marketable job candidate upon completion of the Fellowship, and by providing me with a perspective that will continue to resonate throughout my career.
Bryan Arkwright (2008-2009): Completing the Fellowship was an excellent way to immediately apply the knowledge gained from my graduate studies. The Fellowship structure rotates the student through the components of perhaps healthcare’s most complex type of organization, an academic medical center. Rotating through such an intricate healthcare organization provides experience and insight applicable to any hospital or healthcare entity, thus truly laying the groundwork for one’s career.
Sam Seifert (2004-2005): The Fellowship gave me the opportunity to work and learn in the North Carolina Baptist Hospital environment. I am fortunate to have been able to both launch and continue my career here and the relationships and connections I formed during my Fellowship continue to serve me well today.
Meghan Shapiro (2002-2003): Although we learned a great deal in the classroom, it didn’t really sink in as to how it worked in real life until the Fellowship. The Fellowship allowed me access to executives and senior leadership and into meetings and projects that I would otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience. It allowed me to observe and participate in all aspects of healthcare management, allowing me to really figure out what path I wanted to take with my career. The Fellowship was an invaluable experience that I would not trade.
What impact did your preceptor have on you during your Fellowship?
Andrew Jackson (2015 – 2016): My preceptor was great. Since she was also a Fellow early in her career, she had a strong understanding of the Fellowship’s purpose and ensuring that we were able to maximize the value from the experience. She helped encourage us to follow what we were interested in, yet also made sure that we were staying well-rounded with an understanding of how the entire system functions. When it came time to begin thinking about my next steps after the Fellowship, she was extremely supportive and helped make sure that I would be entering a role in which I could continue to grow personally and professionally.
Julie Idoine (2010-2011): I was not only able to have ONE preceptor, but THREE wonderful, diverse leaders who guided me through my year as a Fellow. I was exposed to a wide variety of projects and people that I continue to value and work with in my new full-time role.
Emily Bauer (2009-2010): My preceptor is professional and personally involved with each Fellow. He makes his calendar available to us so that we may attend meetings with him or simply discuss project ideas or concerns. We also have bi-weekly meetings to discuss the status of current projects and opportunities for future projects from the preceptor or from rotations.
Bryan Arkwright (2008-2009)There are numerous national fellowships and residencies available, but a solid preceptor-student relationship is integral to realizing a successful experience. My preceptors and other mentors at Wake Forest Baptist were an excellent guide through the Fellowship year and continue to be as I remain in the department in a full-time role. They were integral as a resource in my search for a full-time position at the completion of the Fellowship with both internal and external opportunities.
Meghan Shapiro (2002-2003): My preceptor was a wonderful guide through the maze of the hospital and of healthcare in general. He paved the way for me to experience all that I could, and continues to do this even though I am now several years out of my Fellowship. Having an experienced preceptor allowed me to get different perspectives of the healthcare field as he was able to relate past experiences at other organizations and how things have changed or how things are handled differently.
John Blalock (2001-2002):My preceptor was very engaging throughout my Fellowship. He not only assured that I was receiving the maximum value of the position, through regularly scheduled weekly meetings, but he also assigned me great projects and responsibilities. My situation was unique, because I actually worked for my preceptor as a Division Administrative Manager after my Fellowship. I still value his perspective when making decisions on management issues.
What was the defining element of the Fellowship program that made it a worthwhile endeavor to you?
Eric Morris (2016 – 2017): The defining element of the Fellowship, for me, is the relationships that are built throughout the year. Relationships across the organization, from previous fellows to senior executives and clinicians, make Wake Forest Baptist Health a great place to work and a great place to make an impact as an early careerist.
Bryan Arkwright (2008-2009): The defining element for me was the completion of an established and competitive national fellowship in a specific area of interest (Strategic Planning) and securing a full-time position within the same area. Early in my new role I am benefitting from the understanding and experiences I carried over from the Fellowship.
Sam Seifert (2004-2005): The defining element to me was the visibility amongst senior leadership and access to many, many aspects of hospital operations. You also have the opportunity to work on meaningful projects that have an impact on the hospital.
Meghan Shapiro (2002-2003): I feel that the ability to see and do everything at such a high level within an organization when you are fresh out of school makes the Fellowship program essential. It allows you to really explore the different aspects of health administration without feeling like you are stuck in one place or another, and provides you with the chance to talk to and work with people that have had significant and accomplished careers in the field you are entering. The Fellowship program gives you the opportunity and experience to make informed decisions about your career path.
Why would you advise individuals to pursue a Fellowship, rather than diving straight into the work force?
Eric Morris (2016 – 2017): The Fellowship provides an opportunity to explore interests, develop organizational knowledge, and establish a broad network within Wake Forest Baptist Health. The knowledge and network developed during the Fellowship is invaluable for the beginning of a career and enables alumni of the program to make an impact early into their first roles. The Fellowship program broadened my understanding of the many different elements of healthcare administration, allowing me to work on skillsets and pursue interests which ultimately led to my first position with the organization.
Kelsey Allerton (2014 – 2015): I would strongly recommend a fellowship because it is your year to “choose your own adventure.” You are responsible for meeting goals determined between you and your preceptor, but you have a professional freedom to explore any avenue of the healthcare system. You can spend time with environmental services staff, fly on a helicopter with AirCare, sit in on a Medical student class lecture, or ask the C-Suite for mentoring. This is a year to learn what inherently drives you, challenges you, and makes you excited to come to work every day.
Justin Meier (2013-2014): A Fellowship provides early careerists a once in
a lifetime opportunity to gain exposure to every facet of an Academic Medical
Center. In a given week a Fellow may have the opportunity to attend high-level
board meetings and listen to discussions regarding macro-economic issues facing the
institution, as well as work with front line staff helping to improve patient
care. The opportunity for this level of exposure and mentorship
helps prepare an individual for their career in a way jumping straight into the
Julie Idoine (2010-2011): A Fellowship is a wonderful transition and opportunity to spend a year making mistakes and getting it right. I was able to sit in on high level meetings and take on projects throughout the medical center that would have a big impact on operations moving forward. The breadth of the Operations Fellowship gave me great insight into numerous areas of a large academic medical center which I believe has given me a steady ground to build my career on. I cannot say enough great things about completing a Fellowship!
Marisa Barone (2009-2010): A Fellowship gives you the opportunity to really experience the interdependencies of the organization by rotating through all of the different departments and divisions. During a Fellowship, you have the opportunity to attend very high level meetings and be involved in high level projects that you would not have if you went directly into a job, and you may not ever have again until you have a certain title. Through the rotations and meetings, the Fellow gains a perspective on the organization as a whole, unlike someone who views the divisions through the lens of the department they are working in.
Bryan Arkwright (2008-2009): The rotational structure provides insight into all areas of hospital operations and expands the opportunities one may be considering for full-time positions afterwards. (i.e.: Legal Affairs, Business Development, Facilities Planning, Public Relations/Marketing, Government Relations, Human Resources, Office of Research, IS/IT and Strategic Planning just to name a few!) It also provides a full year of experience at a recognized healthcare organization; a valuable advantage compared to recent graduates looking to secure a position with only part-time, internship, or other limited experiences.
John Blalock (2001-2002): Fellows receive the “executive level” exposure that you don’t receive in graduate school, and likely don’t receive right out of school without a Fellowship. A Fellowship is particularly valuable if you do not have any previous exposure to the operations of a large academic medical center. It’s also valuable if you aren’t quite sure about the area in which you’d like to focus. The rotation component of the Fellowship will provide an overview of the entire medical center operations. You only have one opportunity to complete a Fellowship and that time is now. A “real job” opportunity will still be there after your one year Fellowship.
Why would you advise individuals to pursue the Administrative Fellowship at Wake Forest Baptist specifically?
Charlotte Westcob (2016 – 2017): Wake Forest Baptist Health offers a unique fellowship experience that truly stood out from the rest. The one-year fellowship is the perfect mix of rotational meetings, leadership exposure and project work throughout our clinical, academic and research enterprises. The fellowship offers enough structure to develop a comfort level and overarching knowledge of the organization, while giving you the flexibility to explore your professional areas of interest. The defining factor that differentiates WFBH from the rest is its extensive network of former fellows who continue to advance within our organization. This embedded support network of friends, mentors and colleagues truly makes the fellowship year exceptional.
Andrew Jackson (2015 – 2016): Wake Forest’s Administrative Fellowship offers many strengths. It is incredibly flexible to allow you to pursue areas you’re most interested in, while also ensuring you still have a broad understanding of the organization. It is one of the oldest Administrative Fellowships in the country, so everyone is very familiar with your purpose as a Fellow. This makes navigating the projects and rotations of the Fellowship much easier. Wake is also unique in that it has both an adult and children’s hospital onsite and has 3 unique community hospitals, allowing you to learn in many clinical settings. You can also get exposure to our robust research and academic operations, which can be hard to achieve in non-academic settings.
Kelsey Allerton (2014 – 2015): Choosing Wake Forest Baptist gives an individual the unique look into an Academic Medical Setting. With a competitor hospital less than five miles down the road, the Administrative Fellows learn what motivates academic faculty (physicians) to pursue academic medicine, teaching and research, as opposed to strictly meeting wRVU targets. At the heart of the institution is a focus on continuous learning. With over 1,000 students (MD, PA, CRNA, Graduate) at Wake Forest Baptist Health, both our faculty and staff understand the Administrative Fellows fall into the category of “learner,” and are eager to provide teaching opportunities for the Administrative Fellows during the year of learning.
Justin Meier (2013-2014): The Wake Forest Baptist Health Fellowship takes a balanced approach towards rotations, project based experience, and mentorship from senior leaders in the organization that gives Fellows a comprehensive view of the healthcare industry. Additionally, the Fellowship program works with each Fellow individually to develop the necessary skills and knowledge base for a successful career in health administration.
Amanda Backus (2010-2011): A Fellowship at Wake Forest Baptist Health allows one the opportunity to work at an integrated academic medical center. Being driven by both its clinical and academic missions, you not only are able to be exposed to the operations of a continuously top ranked hospital, but are afforded the additional benefit of being engulfed in a vibrant learning environment. The combination of the academic and clinical enterprises into a single, yet large health system provides an optimal setting for fostering the growth and development of a future health administrator.
Emily Bauer (2009-2010): Wake Forest Baptist a nationally recognized facility that is on the cutting edge for patient care, research, and education. The Fellows’ office location in the administrative suite and the ability to rotate throughout the medical center ensures that we are in the middle of all of this at all times!
Marisa Barone (2009-2010): The culture at Wake Forest Baptist is a learning environment, the best type of an environment for a Fellow. Because the Fellowship is a tradition at WFBMC, the organization is accustomed to having Fellows which leads into trusting the Fellows, which results in opportunities for meaningful work. There is more to this Fellowship than rotating through departments. You will have projects that you can add to your personal portfolio. The complexities faced by such a large academic medical center make it a unique, interesting and exciting organization for a Fellowship.
Bryan Arkwright (2008-2009): Wake Forest Baptist’s enterprise span of clinical patient care, research, and academics consistently places it among the top academic medical centers in the nation. Working closely with the leadership responsible for day to day operations of the enterprises’ main components is an ideal way to sharpen the traits and skills necessary for future healthcare executives.
Sam Seifert (2004-2005): This organization has a long history of accepting and educating administrative Fellows. The entire system is familiar with our process and welcomes Fellows to their areas of operation each and every year. Fellows have the opportunity to work in a supportive environment and are able to work in a variety of hospital departments while having the flexibility to spend more time in areas that you find interesting.
John Blalock (2001-2002): The program here provides Fellows with a great preceptor (the most key aspect), great people and culture, great commitment to excellence, great project opportunities, and a great time to see a lot of change with the restructuring of the organization under one medical center CEO.