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July 09, 2012

Immediate fruits from an accelerated program

South University Newsroom

Julie Long
Accelerated Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Administration
Class of June 2012
Current Position: Chief Nursing Officer at Effingham Health System

When Julie Long was recruited away from one of the largest hospital systems in the Savannah region to work at Effingham Health System in Springfield, Georgia, the recruiters shared with her that they were attracted to her resume because she was a registered nurse who was close to earning her Master of Business Administration (MBA).

“They told me that a nurse with an MBA is very valuable,” Julie remembers. “My MBA put me in a job market that I wasn’t in before, and I hadn’t even finished the program yet!”

Not only has Julie’s pursuit of an MBA helped her advance her healthcare career, but she found her coursework relevant immediately.

“I develop business plans, new services and service lines to bring in new business for the hospital, so I work on proposals and projects all the time, which is just what we did in my healthcare finance class. I was also able to apply what I learned in my human resources class to the workplace and implement it immediately.”

Julie admits that she did not know quite what to expect from the program, since the Accelerated MBA in Healthcare Administration program, which can be completed in less than a year, is different from traditional college programs. Courses are taught one at a time, with an online component for each course along with classroom instruction that is held on alternating Saturdays.

“Overall, it was very good and fast paced. The classroom and online work is a good mix,” said Julie. “It is hard to fully understand until you are in the program.”

Julie must have come to understand quite well, since she maintained a 4.0 grade point average and graduated with high honors at South University’s June 2012 commencement ceremony.

Julie credits several factors for her academic success in the program.

“My husband’s support was the biggest factor,” she said. “I could not have been this successful without continuous family support and support from my employer.” But Julie also appreciated that South University faculty members and staff know that their students are busy professionals and make administrative tasks as simple as possible.

“South has a customer-service orientated atmosphere,” she said. “Books can be shipped directly to students, as much as possible is done electronically and over the phone, and there’s a small team to contact with questions that always provides quick answers. Time management is a big part of the program, and little things like that stand out, and it makes for an overall better experience.”

While support from both her family and the school was important, Julie knows that in the end, it comes down to a student’s own drive to succeed.

“You must have a passion to want to use the material, gain new knowledge and graduate.”