Christin Dawson (’10) was awarded the Distinguished Young Professional Alumni Award last Thursday evening. When Christin went through the Residential MBA (RMBA) Program, she worked in a co-op position at Riley Hospital for Children and was offered a full-time position after graduation. We talked to Christin about her experience in the RMBA Program and her work at Riley.
Q: Why did you choose to pursue your MBA?
Christin: I pursued my MBA for a variety of reasons. One was simply the timing—where the business world and economy was, the people who were getting good jobs had more education. Another was the internship aspect. It seemed like such a beneficial experience to really set me apart from the crowd.
Q: Tell me a little bit about your time during the RMBA. What was the best part?
Christin: I really had the opportunity to figure out who I was and what I was good at. I learned that I am very proficient with Excel, statistics, and details like that, and I can leverage those skill sets at work. Then if there’s a new project, my supervisors and I know when to bring me into it because I know what my skill set is.
Q: And you landed a co-op at Riley?
Christin: It was the only place I wanted to be. For a long time, I’ve wanted to open and run my own children’s hospital. I like the health care field, especially finance and the details of health care projects. My internship experience at Riley was critical to my success.
Q: You say that you work on projects at Riley’s. What types of projects have you worked on?
Christin: I have been working on the Simon Family Tower project, which is a new, all-private inpatient tower for Riley. For the project we have been using lean engineering processes, such as 5S, to help design the space. Recently our 5S project team received a Riley Hospital Key Contributor Award.
Another project is my involvement with the Studer Group. I have helped develop tracking tools for Studer and other hospital initiatives. These tools have been shared with the other 17 hospitals in the IU health system.
Q: Have you had other professional experiences or awards?
Christin: I’m currently working on my Six Sigma Green Belt Certification and I plan to begin the Black Belt certification later this year.
I received the Service Excellence Award and I work on the Riley’s Service Excellence Steering Committee, Inpatient Satisfaction Team and Safety and Quality Council. I lead the Edutainment Team for Riley, which is focusing on the patient interactive in our new tower.
I’ve also been part of a national collaborative effort that concentrates on proper patient identification and developing tracking tools to help us measure percent compliance rate. This is an IRB-certified research project.
Q: What would your advice be to a young professional like yourself?
Christin: There are a few things that I would say:
1. Continue to connect with professionals in your industry to learn and ask questions. The AU network especially is so large that there are alumni at every level within organizations.
2. Know your skill set. While there are always things that you need to improve upon, you should know what you have to offer the organization. Have a portfolio of previous work that you have done that highlights your skills. If you don’t know what your skills are, how will the organization know how to best use you?
3. Continue your education. Even after the MBA there are many certifications, associations and other degrees that will allow you to expand your knowledge base as you continue to gain experience.