Navigating Healthcare’s Future: Career Insights

Navigating Healthcare's Future: Career Insights from an MHA Grad

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Abigail Paulisin, MHA '23

Embarking on the path to earn a Master of Science in Healthcare Administration is not just an educational journey but a transformative experience that can propel your career to new heights. As a graduate of Fairfield University’s MS in Healthcare Administration program, I advocate for embracing every lesson as it directly contributes to your professional readiness in navigating the dynamic healthcare administrative landscape. With so many healthcare administration jobs available, you can take your career path in the direction that most inspires you.

Below, I share my motivations for pursuing my healthcare administration master’s degree, my recent career path, and what excites me most about the field. My fulfilling experience as a health insurance broker underscores the profound impact we make in managing clients’ care during vulnerable moments. With a willingness to learn, hard work, and dedication, this transformative healthcare career journey awaits you, too.

What excites you most about the healthcare administration field?

This field is critical to the current and future structure of healthcare. Healthcare administration professionals are crucial partners in driving vital decisions to help improve the scope of healthcare for the entire country. Whether that be through improving access and quality of care, improving offered benefits (government and employer), making adjustments to reduce the social determinants of health, addressing hospital monopolies, ensuring pharmacy standards and policies that are best for the masses, and countless other areas of healthcare. I want to be part of this change, and this program helped me reach that point!

Tell us about your background and why you pursued your MS in Healthcare Administration.

I have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut. My initial goal was to pursue a career in the healthcare field, specifically reconstructive surgery in the burn unit. Shortly after completing my undergraduate degree, I worked as a medical scribe at Nuvance Hospitals, working with specialty surgeons and physicians. I quickly earned a promotion to chief scribe, taking on greater responsibility. This adjustment gave me a greater understanding of management, operations, structure, strategy, etc. This is when I decided to make a career change and return to school for a master’s degree in healthcare administration. Fairfield offered a flexible online program with a great reputation that I couldn’t pass up. The program has significantly benefited my journey in my new occupation.

Abigail Paulisin MHA '23

Describe your current responsibilities as a Health Insurance Broker on the Account Management Team.

I recently joined Corporate Synergies Group as a Health Insurance Broker and love helping our partners optimize their insurance offerings. As a health insurance broker, assisting a growing client base has been incredibly rewarding. Helping people manage care during the most vulnerable times, turning challenging situations into positive outcomes, and enhancing baseline coverage evokes overwhelming joy.

My team’s book of business primarily works with non-profit organizations and independent schools. For these clients, we pursue standard and lifecycle meetings to ensure compliance standards are met, and the benefits they offer align with their current business strategy, making the proper adjustments upon renewal. 

My current responsibilities consist of day-to-day operational duties for our clients, both internally and externally. My responsibilities include client and carrier communication, document creation, client organization, plan auditing, benefits guide construction, new and continuous vendor implementation management, and countless other responsibilities. This ensures that our clients provide the best offerings to their employees.

What is an exciting trend that will change how the profession moves forward?

Having a knowledge and understanding of the changes that occur across all areas of healthcare benefits, including state/federal adjustments, pharmaceutical adjustments, carrier mergers, hospital acquisitions, underwriting standards, etc. These are some of the bases of how our healthcare system is changing and how my profession helps to protect all of us from losing out on quality care coverage.

Why did you select Fairfield University for your graduate degree?

I took this next step of obtaining my graduate degree to further my knowledge and understanding of the healthcare administrative world to best prepare me for my future healthcare career. Fairfield offered a flexible online program that worked best for my schedule at the time. It allowed me to complete the work on my own time while also pushing me to work on time management! The relationships forged with fellow students and faculty become invaluable pillars of support, fostering academic growth and resilience. Fairfield is a very competitive school, and I can proudly say that I am a Stag forever.

How has the Fairfield MHA program advanced your career?

Everything you learn in the Master of Healthcare Administration program will benefit your current and future career, preparing you well for dynamic healthcare administration jobs. The program has covered topics such as ethics, U.S. benefits, policy, and the current healthcare environment, providing a solid foundation for enhancing my industry knowledge and success as a broker. The skills and knowledge I have gained from this program have allowed me to better understand and strategize during preparation for plan renewals, adjustments, meetings, and day-to-day tasks. The program has improved my self-confidence, which I strongly attribute to the course content and structure, and the relationships I cultivated with the Fairfield teaching faculty! Coming to Fairfield University for this program has been one of the best decisions I have ever made!

The blend of courses, projects, and practicum was significantly challenging and exceedingly helpful in expanding my knowledge to produce strategic work in multiple areas across the healthcare field. A few examples of courses and projects that have helped me to become a change agent in healthcare include the Advanced Healthcare Policy course, the Healthcare Administration Practicum, and the Healthcare Administration Capstone. 

Why would you recommend Fairfield University’s graduate school?

I recommend Fairfield University to others looking to start graduate school for several reasons.

  1. The program weaves challenging content throughout the degree, helping you actively learn and retain the information.
  2. Smaller class sizes provide for significant 1-on-1 time with faculty, fostering a higher level of personal growth and learning.
  3. The support the students and faculty have for every person attending this school is second to none.
  4. Fairfield’s flexible programs empower you to continue your current life/occupation while earning your degree. 

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone starting their career in your field?

One piece of advice I offer people considering a career in health administration is that it’s okay if you don’t know all the small mechanics of the job, as that comes with time. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions; a new perspective drives positive change in your career growth. Set small personal goals for yourself each hour, day, week, and beyond, and watch what you can accomplish! Always try to better yourself!


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