October 2016 Student Spotlight
October Student Spotlight with Mena Singh, MPA ’16
Global partnerships have allowed our School to expose students to unique experiences in far-off places they may not have ever gotten the chance to experience otherwise. Mena tells us about her exciting time at a partnership “Summer Camp” in China this past summer, and what she wants out of her Healthcare Policy MPA.
You attended the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) Summer Camp in Chengdu. How did this opportunity come about?
Studying abroad was always a dream of mine and I have always looked for opportunities to explore new places. I have traveled to many places and every one of those experiences has helped me get a better understanding of the world around me while also challenging me intellectually, professionally and personally. However, while I have traveled and experienced many countries, I have never explored far eastern cultures. So when I saw the Advisement Newsletter advertising that the Austin W. Marxe School of Public and International Affairs offered a short-term study abroad program in China, I knew that it was an opportunity I did not want to miss. The length and content of the program was perfect too. I applied for the program because I believed it would give me a chance to continue my education and experience a new and fascinating place that would further expand my social and educational horizons. It’s also great that Baruch offers a program that working professionals can take advantage of since it requires only two weeks off from work.
What was your experience there like?
I cannot say enough positive things about my experiences in China. The program included a great mix of lectures and cultural excursions that were informative, enriching, and left me with many fond memories and stories to tell for the rest of my life. The program brought together ninety student ambassadors representing thirty eight different nationalities. As a result, I met people from all over the world and learned a lot about their cultures and perspectives on life. It was fun interacting with people and overcoming our cultural differences and language barriers in order to communicate and learn from each other. We visited places like the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, Mount Qingcheng, the Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base, the ancient Dujiangyan Irrigation System and numerous temples and monasteries. All of these experiences combined together gave us a thorough overview of Chinese culture, language and economy while also creating lasting memories and life-long friendships. Overall, my experience in China was an enriching, life-changing, and beautiful adventure that I will cherish and never forget.
Why did you choose the Healthcare Policy MPA track? In what ways do you believe it’ll propel you forward in your career at Mt. Sinai and beyond?
After the introduction of many watershed healthcare acts in recent years, the healthcare industry is at an important crossroads and I believe it is necessary to devise informed, thoughtful and creative ways to address the major hurdles facing the industry. From an ideological perspective these laws will enhance patient care. However, in my current role as senior accountant at Mount Sinai, I have seen how a lot of the burden falls squarely on the shoulders of hospitals in terms of financing waivers, planning, implementation, and the day to day management of the new programs. This knowledge is what compelled me to pursue the Healthcare Policy MPA track. In my present role I am responsible for the financial reporting and somewhat limited in the impact I can make concerning the above mentioned issues. I believe that an MPA degree with a specialization in Healthcare policy will enable me to better address some of the challenges facing my organization and the industry as a whole. Rather than just reporting what happens, the specialization in Healthcare policy will empower me with the knowledge, skills and confidence to be involved in the strategic decisions that steer my organization.