St. Cloud Minnesota School of Business Health Management Chair Deb Berglund began
planting the seeds in 2011 at the annual Minnesota Medical Group Management
Association Conference for her students to apply networking skills in a real
world setting. She challenged the Chairman of Membership Tony Werner to
discount the conference fees for college students, arguing that students would
attend and become active MMGMA members if it were affordable for them to do so.
Werner agreed, and this year Berglund attended the professional conference, as well as MMGMA Hill Day at the capitol, with eight Health Care Management students from two classes. Robert Johnson, Jessica Linn, Jenna Malikowski, Shannon Ludwig, Jacob Jackson, Alicen Himmelspach, Michelle Anderson and Keith Mockros all participated in the conference and enjoyed the MSB student discount.
Berglund was most impressed with her students’ professionalism. She said she received
numerous compliments from vendors, board members and attendees about the MSB
student presence. The positive feedback she received included: “excellent
networking skills,” “asked excellent and challenging questions,” “dressed
professionally and were prepared to talk about internships, mentorships, job
shadowing and employment possibilities.”
Berglund feels that much of the students’ success came from them preparing ahead of time, practicing their professional skiulls in class and looking the part.
“The students looked every bit like the health care executives they are going to become,” she said proudly.
Robert Johnson said that his goal at the conference was “to meet and talk to people
that are working in the field that I am going to school for.”
After attending a breakout session with a man who had opened a new clinic in Fridley,
Johnson came away with the man’s business card and plans to follow up with him.
Similarly, Linn spoke with a manager of a Maple Grove clinic who indicated that
there might be a chance for her to intern there.
Linn observed that the conference was “a good networking opportunity . . . you are
able to ‘hang out’ with people who do what you want to do every day for a
living. It gave good insight.”
Malikowski agreed. “I felt that the MMGMA conference was very insightful for my health
care management program as it gives real life situations, problems, and
progress in the health care industry and things that managers of clinics have
to deal with on an everyday situation.”
Overall, Berglund and her students believe that the MSB students’ first-time presence at
the conference set an important benchmark for other students to strive to reach. Malikowski is already planning to attend the MMGMA summer conference.
In all these Health Care Management students seem to be well on their way to a