Author Archives: ALEXIS MENARD

About ALEXIS MENARD

Alexis Menard joined the School of Management in April 2018 as the Web & Social Media Assistant. She is a senior standing Business Administration undergraduate student at the University of Michigan-Flint pursuing a double major in OBHRM and Marketing.

Forecasting Her Future: February’s aMaizeing Alumni

By Alexis Menard on February 25, 2021 2:40 PM

Kira Rouser BBA ’16

Alumna, Kira Rouser graduated with honors from UM-Flint’s School of Management with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting in 2016. Kira is a Senior Financial Analyst and oversees budgeting and forecasting at the company she works for. In her career, she interacts with Sales and department leaders to make accurate forecasting predictions and say’s each day brings something new! As our featured Alumni of the month, Kira gives insight on why she choose UM-Flint and advice for students and alumni considering becoming a Financial Analyst.

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: BBA in Accounting, 2016

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your normal day-to-day?
A: I have been working at InfuSystem as a Sr. Financial Analyst for a year now. I help support the budgeting and forecasting process for the company, but what that looks like on a day-to-day basis varies (which is part of the reason I love my job). Some days I am spending the majority of my time interacting with our Sales group with a focus on updating the latest revenue forecast, other days I’m meeting with department leaders reviewing expenses from prior periods and updating what the months ahead look like. Each day holds something new!

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your degree?
A:
I picked UM-Flint because of its accessibility; Flint is my home and holds a big place in my heart, so being able to stick close to home while pursuing my bachelor’s degree was great. UM-Flint is a great school and offers so much to its students. The fact that I was able to get a fantastic education in a small community setting was something that helped me more than I recognized at the time I was attending. 

Q: What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?
A:
My favorite experience was the interaction I had with the people there. The professors, staff and my fellow students were amazing. I made some really good connections there and I know that I would not be where I am in my career without the people that I met at UM-Flint.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A:
A: I have always loved managing finances so it was a natural fit for me.  

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A:
Getting promoted to Sr. Analyst was by far my proudest career accomplishment.

Q: What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in your field?
A:
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. I think oftentimes when you’ve committed to a particular area of study (accounting or finance) you think that you should be an expert, but that’s not always true. You should aspire and work towards being knowledgeable in your area of focus, but the reality is that when you first start off you’re not at that expert level. If you ask the right people the right questions you’ll put yourself on track to being successful at what you do. 

Q: Fun Facts!
A:
I love interior design!   

A Recent Grad’s Transition to a full-time Entrepreneur Operating Three Small Businesses: January’s aMaizeing Alumni

By Alexis Menard on January 29, 2021 4:55 pm

Kayla Laird BBA ’20

Alumna, Kayla Laird graduated with honors from UM-Flint’s School of Management with a BBA in Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management in 2020. Before transferring to UM-Flint, Kayla attended C.S. Mott Community College where she earned her Associates of Arts and Associates of Business Administration. 

Kayla currently owns and operates three businesses full-time;  Lord Laird’s Premium Lemonade®, Queen Netzo Jewelry, and Mobars. In November, she won the Pitch 4K competition and is currently participating in another business pitch competition to try to win an additional $11,000. 

As our featured Alumni of the month, Kayla gives insight into her experiences at UM-Flint, her proudest accomplishment of winning more than $8,000 for her businesses, why she became an entrepreneur, and advice for students that are considering being their own boss. 

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: University of Michigan-Flint – Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management, BBA 2020 – Honors

Q: Pursuing another degree?
A: Not currently, maybe in the near future I’ll go for my Masters!

Q: Where are you currently working and what is your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your normal day to day?
A: I have finally made the switch from working as a Project Manager at 100K Ideas into becoming a full-time, self-employed, multi-passionate entrepreneur! I am a young entrepreneur with a passion for creating healthy and sustainable products.

I currently have two businesses, the first, Lord Laird’s Premium Lemonade®, specializing in all-organic health drinks, and Queen Netzo Jewelry, specializing in handmade wire-wrapped Swarovski Crystal® rings in memory of my mother Kennette Laird.

When I began to get into jewelry at the age of 7, my mother was battling breast cancer. With the help of my Aunt Myra, I started a new hobby making all sorts of jewelry. Whenever I would visit, my aunt would always be making a new necklace, bracelet, or earrings of some sort. She taught me all of the basic techniques I needed to know in order to make creations with integrity. I made jewelry for my mother to wear as well as everyone who helped around the house during that time of need. With my dad being a pillar of support of my passion, the name “Queen Netzo Jewelry” has stuck ever since 2007. I felt the need to keep the name because it reminds me that she will always be the QUEEN in my heart.

I am currently developing a new business called Mobars, specializing in creating homemade luxe energy bars made with everyday essentials for a great breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or even dessert!

I have been an entrepreneur since the age of eight, always having the desire to become a businesswoman, looking to market, sale, and make a profit. On a normal day to day, I usually start my morning off with an hour workout. After working out, it usually gives me all the energy I need for the day to either produce 12+ gallons of lemonade, 100+ Mobars, or create new Swarovski Crystal rings for my customers. It’s been a great transition especially being able to remain stable during a pandemic. I am so excited for what is to come! ♡

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your BBA?
A: I have always known The University of Michigan to be a top-tier school! I was so glad that I could get a quality education for a fraction of the cost at the UM-Flint branch. It’s such a great school for entrepreneurship and innovation, and it’s also close to home, which I love!

Q: What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?
A: Meeting my favorite professor MRS. RITAAAAAA FIELDS has been one of the best experiences I have ever had. Going to her classes were by far the most fun I had during college.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: I’ve always wanted to be my own boss, so it only made sense to be an entrepreneur!

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: Winning over $8,070 for my businesses has been one of my proudest accomplishments thus far. Currently, I am in a pitch competition to win up to $11,000 and I could not be more excited!!

Q: What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career as an entrepreneur?
A: My advice would be the following:

  • Follow your passion
  • Do your research
  • Invest in learning
  • Challenge yourself
  • Add value to other people’s lives
  • Find like-minded people to hang around
  • Take the risk!
  • Learn from mistakes
  • & Tell your story.

Q: Fun Facts!
A: I am from Maryland! I own and operate 3 businesses! andddd, I am currently ENGAGED and will be getting married later this year!

#1 Online Business Program in Michigan

By Alexis Menard on January 26, 2021, 4:15 PM

The University of Michigan-Flint’s Online Bachelor of Business (BBA) program has been named the top online business program in the state of Michigan, and one of the top programs in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2021.

The UM-Flint School of Management’s Online BBA program was ranked 19th nationwide.

“We are very gratified that our Online BBA program is so highly ranked and recognized,” said School of Management Dean, Scott D. Johnson, Ph.D., “Our faculty are knowledgeable in their disciplines and are experienced in providing high-quality online instruction.”

“Our students often have jobs and families. They appreciate the flexibility to learn in a convenient online format,” said Dean Johnson. 

In 2020, the School of Management announced a lower out of state online tuition and offers seven business majors that are fully online, cutting-edge, flexible, and career-ready including; Accounting, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Finance, General Business, International Business, Marketing, and Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management.

U.S. News is an independent global publisher of news and education rankings for various higher education institutions. The U.S. News & World Report methodology for the Best Online Bachelor’s Program rankings were determined by the quality of education, time of completion, and affordability of the program for working professionals looking to progress or change careers. Additionally, school rankings were also based on four categories: engagement, service and technologies, faculty credentials and training, and expert opinion. 

Learn more about the #1 Online BBA in MI

Alumnus returns to Wolverine State to progress Strategy Career: December’s aMaizeing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On December 22, 2020 2:15 pm

Skott Schoonover , BBA ’11

Alumnus Skott Schoonover graduated from UM-Flint’s School of Management with a BBA in Business Management in 2011. Skott recently accepted a job that brought him back to his home state of Michigan as a Strategy Analyst. During his time at UM-Flint, he was a member of the Entrepreneurs Society, International Business Students Organization, and the Spanish Club. He also attended many football games in the Michigan Big House.

As our featured alumni of the month, Skott gives advice for students thinking of pursuing a career in strategy/analytics, how he chose his career path, and projects he’s been working on in quarantine, such as writing two children’s books!

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: Bachelors of Business Management, 2011

Q: Pursuing another degree?
A: Not currently, but I plan to get my Master’s at some point

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your normal day to day?
A: I’m a Strategy Analyst at Percepta, which is a subsidiary of Ford, focusing on technology innovations to improve the customer experience. I’ve been with the company for two months.

I spent the previous 7 years at the Enterprise corporate office as a Revenue Management Consulting Analyst. My role was to set rates and determine fleet mix/availability to increase profitability in the North American markets

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A: It offered a top tier education, with the class size of a much smaller university. I wanted a degree that was going to hold prestige, and I also wanted to have engagement in class, to not just be one of 300 other students in an auditorium.

Q: What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?
A: I worked with the Entrepreneurs Society to partner with Habitat For humanity and a few local groups to conceptualize and build HFH’s first “Work-Live Space” which has become a model used across the country.

And while not UM-Flint specific, Saturday afternoons in the student section at the Big House are an experience that I’ll hold in reverence for the rest of my life. It’s something I highly encourage all UM-Flint students to take advantage of!

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: I’m an outside-the-box thinker, who is always looking for ways to improve everything. With innovation in my blood, Strategy was the logical choice.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far
A: Being asked to become an international Revenue Management Consultant was a very proud accomplishment. I had to learn new markets, exchange rates, and customer buying habits. It was incredibly rewarding to be asked to take on such a challenging project and to have success in the role.

Q: What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in your field?
A: Be open to opportunities that aren’t what you think you’re looking for, Be willing to put in the hard work necessary to succeed, And be honest with yourself on your strengths, weaknesses, and what truly motivates you.

And with anything in life, Hard Work = Good Luck

Q: Fun Facts!
A:
– During quarantine, I wrote two children’s books that I’m currently trying to get illustrated and published.
– I’ve been in a band that put out an EP.
– And after seven years away, my new position is in Michigan, I’m very excited to be back in the Wolverine State!

Using Marketing Expertise in Commercial Real Estate: November’s aMaizeing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On November 24, 2020 12:00 pm

Monique Lawler (Roberts), BBA ’11

Alumna, Monique Lawler (Roberts) graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing. Since her time at UM-Flint, she has gone on to work in a Commercial Real Estate (CRE) field and identifies trends in the market. She and her friends also created a non-profit to promote gender equity in underserved communities. As our featured Alumni of the month, Monique gives insight into how she ended up in CRE, why she chose UM-Flint as well as her favorite experiences at the university.

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: Bachelor of Business Administration–Marketing, 2011

Q: Pursuing another degree?
A: Not currently. I enrolled in an MBA program, but decided to put my enrollment on hold to pursue other endeavors.

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your normal day to day?
A: I work in Commercial Real Estate (CRE), as a Research Analyst for Cushman & Wakefield’s Memphis affiliate office (Commercial Advisors); I have been in this position for a year. My normal day-to-day consists of identifying trends in the market, creating drive-times, demographic profiles, void analyses and fulfilling ad-hoc research requests.

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A: The convenience of having one of the top-ranking universities on the world in my hometown was a huge factor. Course selection, campus activities and culture were other major factors in choosing UM-Flint.

Q: What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?
A: One of my favorite experiences was a CIS project that involved working with local veterans, helping them navigate, understand, and utilize resources available to Veteran-Owned Small Businesses (VOSB).

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: I was pre-med for four years, then decided on a whim that I wanted to learn more about consumer behavior, and the methodology behind it. That led me to analytics and somehow landed me in CRE.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: Not to sound cliché’, but my proudest accomplishments are my teenage daughter—who’s considering UM as her top college choice, and my beautifully tenacious 3-year old son. I am also proud of my friends and I for establishing a non-profit organization to promote gender equity in underserved communities.

Q: What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in your field?
A: I would tell them to go for it!! Especially BIPoC, because there is such an untapped gap in professionals of Color in CRE; I say challenge the status quo!

Q: Fun Facts!
A: Although I am not currently pursuing another degree, I am pursuing (and hold) several certifications in my favorite hobbies and interests. I’m a certified personal trainer, I hold a TEFL certification to teach English as a Second Language, I’m pursuing my yoga-training certification and I’m currently undergoing Commissions to become a Notary/Loan Signing Agent in my state.

Alumna Finds a Passion in Customer Data Analytics at a UK-based Company: October’s aMaizeing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On October 26, 2020 2:30 pm

Gina Dillon, BBA ’13

Alumna, Gina Dillon graduated from UM-Flint’s School of Management with a BBA in Marketing in 2013. Gina was recently promoted to Senior Client Lead at a global customer data science company headquartered in the United Kingdom. She has always been intrigued by consumer behavior and “why behind the by,” and also enjoys the customer data analysis within her career. As our featured Alumni of the month, Gina gives insight into her experiences at UM-Flint, why she went into an analytics-based career path, and advice for students thinking of pursuing a career in marketing.

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year
A: Bachelor of Business Administration (Marketing), 2013

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your normal day to day?
A: I am a Senior Client Lead for a UK-based company called dunnhumby (dh). I’ve been with dh since June 2019 and was promoted (from Client Lead) in August 2020. In my role, I help a large local grocery retailer perfect the science of shopping through customer data analysis.

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A: I really enjoyed the convenience of the campus being so close to home, flexible course formats and top-quality instruction.

Q: What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?
A: My first year at UM-Flint, I captained a team for the Relay for Life lock-in event. It was fun to participate in such a unique on-campus experience while raising money for a good cause.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: My favorite course at UM-Flint was BUS 338: Consumer Behavior with Dan Lake. I’ve always been most intrigued by the “why behind the buy,” which is how I ended up taking an analytics-based path for my career.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: Outside of my beautiful 5-year-old daughter, I’ve been proud to volunteer my time and financial resources to various community-based organizations. The causes closest to my heart are kids, civil rights and the environment.

Q: What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in your field?
A: Go for it! Pursue what you’re passionate about. My role is heavily focused on interpersonal relationship building and a passion for improving the lives of consumers.

Q: Fun Facts!
A: I’ve loved the University of Michigan since I was a little girl. I used to shoot hoops with my dad in a Chris Webber jersey, and my entire bedroom was covered in all things “Wolverine,” down to my bed comforter and waste basket!

Seven SOM Resources that will make you a Better Student

By Alexis Menard On September 28, 2020 12:05 am

UM-Flint School of Management (SOM) provides amazing resources for business students. Students can access a variety of resources, from career preparation to study abroad programs. Check out the top seven resources that will make you a better student!

Big Interview

With this interview preparation tool, you can review different videos on a variety of topics on interviewing, interview questions, salary negotiations, and participate in simulated mock interviews. The tools available on Big Interview can also help you prepare for graduate school interviews. Big Interview caters its questions towards your career field and you can record and send your own personal mock interviews to others to be reviewed for grading and feedback. Start preparing now by going to umflint.biginterview.com and creating your account. For questions regarding Big Interview, email Antonio Riggs, anriggs@umich.edu.  

WSJ

All UM-Flint students have access to a Wall Street Journal subscription. This is a great resource to stay current on business news and happenings across several markets. It can also provide a personalized experience for tracking companies and industries for class projects and interview research. The WSJ offers key features that can be explored here. Get started with your free membership today by visiting umflint.edu/som/wsj and enter your UM-Flint credentials. If you need assistance, email Dominic Fusero, dfusero@umflint.edu

Study Abroad/Exchange Programs

Seeing the world while in college is important because it pushes students outside of their comfort zone, builds confidence, become independent, problem solver, develops networking skills, and develop intercultural understanding, all of which are important skills for a successful business professional. 

For adventurous students wanting to dive right into a culture, exchange programs are offered in 12 countries from around the world. The partnered universities have business-specific programs and courses will count towards your UM degree. UM-Flint scholarships and financial aid are available as well as external scholarships. View programs at goabroad.umflint.edu/. For questions, contact the Education Abroad Office at studyabroad@umich.edu.

For students that aren’t quite ready to take the leap abroad for a semester, each year the School of Management faculty members lead a study abroad program. The faculty member leading the trip is familiar with the region and can relate course concepts to the surrounding areas. Trips are under two weeks long and take place during the spring or summer semester. Study abroad trips count towards your UM degree. Similarly, UM-Flint scholarships are available and financial aid can count towards course fees. Eligible students will receive a $1,000 guaranteed scholarship. For questions or resources, visit umflint.edu/som/study-abroad or contact Professor Greg Laurence, Director of International and Global Studies Program, at glaurence@umich.edu.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is a software platform available to all School of Management students that can be used to learn a foreign language at several proficiency levels. This is a significant benefit for international students, international business majors, business students interested in a foreign language minor, and as well as those who wish to study abroad. Each semester, a limited amount of licenses are available for a six-month period, which at the end can be renewed.

Languages available: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Dari, Dutch, English (American), English (British), Filipino (Tagalog), French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Pashto, Persian (Farsi), Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian,  Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Urdu, and Vietnamese

To have access, students can contact international business faculty, Yener Kandogan, Ph.D., at yener@umich.edu or Keith Kelley, Ph.D., at keithkel@umich.edu. Also include the language you are interested in, along with a paragraph explaining your need/purpose for access, current proficiency level, foreign language courses taken, and how you will benefit from access to this language software.

Talking with the Career Planning Counselor, Antonio Riggs

Whether you are looking for an internship, career advice, or attending a professional development event for your Career Development Requirement points, Antonio Riggs, Career Planning Counselor, will have an answer for you! Antonio hosts business career fairs once a semester and invites multiple employers on-campus/virtual for students to network and ask questions about a particular job field. He can help you with your resume, interview skills, professional dress, and overall job hunting advice. Antonio can also help you navigate Handshake and let you know about possible job opportunities with local companies. Lastly, Antonio manages the Student 2 Student mentorship program that connects freshman/transfer students to upper class business students. Learn more about internship/career resources here. To schedule a one on one meeting, email him at anriggs@umich.edu.

SOM Student Clubs

The School of Management sponsors nine student organizations. These organizations welcome UM-Flint undergraduate and graduate students of any major. Many organizations deal with broad business concepts to help sharpen your skills. Each organization focuses on a particular field of business, such as Accounting, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Human Resources, International Business, Marketing, and Supply Chain Management.

Previous Entrepreneurs Society member, Elisabeth Hamilton said, “New students should take advantage of the countless opportunities and resources offered at UM-Flint early on in their academic career. I can’t express how grateful I am for the opportunities I have had through the School of Management and being an active member of student organizations like Entrepreneurs Society. I have gained real-life career experience and made professional connections. I truly believe I would not be as prepared for the real world if it wasn’t for the Entrepreneurs Society.”

To learn more about SOM student clubs, visit the SOM student organization website umflint.edu/som/student-organizations or contact Antonio Riggs, anriggs@umich.edu.

Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation was established in 2015 and since then the center has been known for its successful cross-campus Zillion Solutions pitch competition, the Interdisciplinary Entrepreneurial Speaker Series, and student scholarships. The Hagerman Center’s mission is to encourage entrepreneurial and innovative thinking in students and faculty in all disciplines. The center can help kick start your entrepreneurial passion while also learning business principles and logistics of starting a business. Submitting your idea to Zillion Solutions can lead to you winning one of 50 cash prizes available, connect you to local entrepreneurs for guidance on how to pursue your idea, and add a great line to your resume. For questions, contact Professor Mark Simon at marksimo@umich.edu. 

MBA Alumnus uses Financial Skills to Add Value to Post-Acute Care Company: August’s aMaizeing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On August 21, 2020 3:30 pm

McCoy Wilson, MBA ’14

Alumnus, McCoy Wilson graduated from UM-Flint with his Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Finance in 2014. During his time at UM-Flint, he was apart of diverse student organizations, such as Black Student Union and InterVasity. McCoy is a Sales Operations Financial Manager and played a key role in his company by creating and implementing a new data reporting program. As our featured Alumni of the month, McCoy gives insight into his experience with student organizations, career advice, and his future travel plans to Spain!

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: MBA in Finance (2014)

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your normal day to day?
A: I’m currently working at Encompass Health, Dallas, Texas as Sales Operations Financial Manager. I have been with Encompass Health for 3 years. I oversee the design and distribute compensation plans, report payout data, and ensure timely and accurate compensation. I create and manage reports, forecasts, metrics and dashboards for our sales team.

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A: Both the academic reputation of the School of Management and the school’s vast alumni network influenced my decision.

Q: What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?
A: I lived on campus for a year and I enjoyed the various student activities. I was a member of InterVasity student organization and the African Students Union. Being around such a diverse population of students was both exciting and somewhat of a cultural shock for me.

It was awesome to meet, interact and collaborate with people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and beliefs. And that’s an important aspect of higher education – the ability to learn from many others who bring their own personal and cultural experiences to the table for the benefit of alls.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: I was drawn to this career path because it appeals to my passion and proclivity for management and strategy, data and analytics. Undoubtedly, the School of Management’s classes introduced me to concepts and skills that prepared me for this.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: I played a key role in creating and implementing a new data reporting program which is currently being used to ensure timely and accurate compensation.

Q: What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in your field?
A: Always look for the opportunity to interact and learn from other students and faculty. I benefited a lot from the virtues of group work. These smaller group settings provide platforms that stimulate creativity and intellectual curiosity.

My job as a Sales Operations Financial Manager is based on my communication, interpersonal and problem-solving skills, and working with different groups on class projects was fundamental to the development of these skills.

Q: Fun Facts!
A: I am making plans to visit the Camp Nou soccer stadium in Barcelona, Spain next year. Camp Nou is the largest stadium in Europe with a seating capacity of 99,354. I really hope my team, FC Barcelona, wins on the day I visit. That would make my experience more memorable.

Occupational Therapy Scholar Highlights Advantage of Dual Degree

By Alexis Menard On August 15, 2020, 1:40 PM

Quinn Hanses, Dual OTD/MBA student.
Photo provided by Quinn Hanses

Quinn Hanses dreams of being the voice for her patients. At the University of Michigan-Flint, she can pursue this dream in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) program with a concentration in Healthcare Management. 

Hanses is native to Lansing, MI, where she grew up and attended college, but currently lives in Flint, Michigan. She likes to be close to campus and loves supporting Flint. “I enjoy living downtown and supporting local businesses. I love the “#FlintFwd” and “be good culture” movements that support bringing light and business back to Flint,” said Hanses. 

Hanses is the first student in Michigan to pursue the dual OTD/MBA program at UM-Flint and has achieved a 4.0 GPA in her first year of courses in the two programs. “The more you learn and realize this is your future, the more you are passionate about what you’re learning,” said Hanses.

Hanses chose UM-Flint for two reasons. 

First, UM-Flint has the only entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) in the state of Michigan. In addition to being a one of a kind program in the state, it can also be paired with a Master of Business Administration (MBA), which makes a strong match in reaching her goals in the field. 

“The dual OTD-MBA program provides various benefits that are difficult to overlook, such as overall reduced cost rather than taking the degrees separately, flexibility with the MBA Net+ program, overlapping classes, and the MBA offers accommodation for those who wish to progress through the program at their own pace,” said Hanses.

Second, UM-Flint encourages students to participate and engage in research. Hanses has a Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA) position and has been a part of Cognitive Neuroscience and Parkinson’s Disease research since her first semester with Dr. Nathaniel S. Miller, Assistant Professor of Psychology, at the UM-Flint College of Arts and Sciences. 

Overall, UM-Flint has the most significant qualities and benefits she was looking for at the right price. “The University of Michigan always provides quality education, and this knowledge is essential to best serve my patients,” said Hanses. 

Hanses’ long-term goal is to run a proprietorship or partnership and pair her OT background with a business mindset that will help her and her future patients. Within the healthcare industry, Hanses hopes to improve communication and advocate for patient needs. 

“As a therapist, I want to do more than send the patient off to the next person. I would love to help in the operations of this sort of process, as there is always room for improvement to serve better, provide, and take care of the patient adequately,” Hanses continues, “I am interested in an MBA, so I can go from being a single link in the pathway to becoming a navigator of the entire healthcare chain.” 

The MBA program supports and encourages classmate interaction and is a team-based driven program. The student population in the MBA program has diverse professional backgrounds and the courses inspire collaboration between classmates. 

“In the MBA program, there is significant diversity in the educational and professional backgrounds of students. For example, we typically have a number of students from the healthcare industry that provide valuable insights to the classroom discussions and team projects. This diversity encourages different ways of thinking and problem solving, leading to greater learning and a richer educational experience,” said Dr. Brian Blume, Professor of Organizational Behavior and HR Management, and Associate Director of Hagerman Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Hanses took Dr. Blume’s MGT 541 – Organizational Behavior course in the fall of 2019 and enjoyed being part of the diverse classroom environment. “It feels more collaborative rather than being on my own and at my own pace. I love hearing perspectives of my other classmates,” said Hanses. 

On the topic of her concentration, Hanses says, “As an OT with an MBA, I will have assorted and unique perspectives on circumstances. I can effectively weigh the outcome of a complication given what I know from patients, colleagues, and/or investors. Along with being a voice for these people, I can also do something about it. I hope to work to improve communication, within the healthcare industry, in this distinctive way.”

When it comes to making an impact, using the technical skills that come with the MBA has helped Hanses realize the importance of practical finance skills and being innovative. “Medical facilities manage on limited financial resources, and it is imperative to find solutions that can aid in a more efficient way. I want to make a positive impact on patient care by having more responsibility. I would love to devote my career to bigger picture thinking when I am not seeing patients.” 

Outside of the OT world, Hanses appreciates the skills and knowledge that come with the usefulness of the MBA, stating, “The MBA degree has opened my eyes to not only the practical skills of financial planning, how the money supply works, calculating the relative costs of my opportunities, but also the basic principles of economics, finance, accounting, marketing, and management skills.”   “An MBA is smart and feasible for professional administrative skills and is even more critical for lifelong skills with understanding bills, mortgages, taxes, regulations, and helping you know how our government system works,” said Hanses.

“I am going into this field, knowing it will be a lifelong career. I am devoted to becoming a leader, and to do this, I need these credentials to move up the ladder. Ultimately, this MBA will open up more doors to advance my career. I could not be more excited to pursue this additional degree.”

Ambitious Alum finds a Passion in the Medical Field that Leads Her to Start Her Own Company: June’s aMaizeing Alumni

By Alexis Menard On June 25, 2020 2:10 PM

Alumna, Marcia Yhap-Davson, DNP, MBA, CRNA, graduated from UM-Flint in April 2020 with a dual degree in Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Master of Business Administration (MBA), with a concentration in Health Care Management. During her time as a UM-Flint student, Marcia participated in the 2019 China Study Abroad trip and excelled in her studies which earned her the award, Most Outstanding MBA Student. 

Marcia migrated to the US in her childhood with her family and is a proud 1st generation college student that is a multiple degree/license holder. Marcia has had tremendous support from her family and even during the School of Management Honors and Awards ceremony, her family came to support her when she received the Most Outstanding MBA Student award in the winter of 2019.  Recently, during the COVID-19 outbreak, she volunteered with New York City Health and Hospital Corporation to serve one of the hardest-hit communities affected by the virus. Marcia always had an interest in business since high school and she is pursuing to open her own private anesthesia staffing agency.

As our featured alumni of the month, Marcia participated in a Q&A and gave advice about pursuing a career in the healthcare/management field, her backstory on how she got to where she is today, and why she chose UM-Flint along with her favorite experiences at the university.

Q: Degree(s) and graduation year:
A: I am a proud graduate of UM-Flint, Class of 2020, graduating with a dual degree Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Health Care Management.

Q: Pursuing another degree?
A: At this moment, I have no future endeavor to return to school as I consider these degrees my terminal degrees, but as they say, “never say never.” I have always been an avid learner, passionate about school, and obsessed with learning and growing; some consider me a career student.

Q: Tell us about yourself!
A: I was born in Georgetown, Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America. In 1983, my mother migrated to Canada, followed by the United States, where she worked tirelessly to save up enough money to move my entire family to the U.S. so that everyone can gain access to more opportunities and a better life. My educational journey in the U.S. began in middle school, where I was placed in the top class, later moving on to high school with the intent of studying business management.

Q: Where are you currently working, and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? What is your normal day to day?
A: Always putting my best foot forward in everything I do, I accelerated in nursing, becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1994. In 1996, I became a 1st generation college graduate in my family, obtaining an associate degree followed by my bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2000, through a correspondence program at Excelsior College. In 2003, I apply to the SUNY Health and Science Anesthesia Program, wherein 2007, I obtained my master’s degree graduating with honors as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).  I have been providing anesthesia services for over 12 years at various facilities in New York City, including multiple Level 1 Trauma Centers. I administer preoperative evaluations for patients before surgical procedures as anesthesia providers are considered “the gatekeepers” because we either clear or cancel procedures if it is deemed unsafe for the patients. I perform life-saving cardiopulmonary recession measures, secure and maintain airways and anesthesia management of patients requiring surgical procedures, including post-procedure care management. I am currently doing locums work for my own company Seamless Systems Inc., where I do contract work at facilities in need of anesthesia services such as hospitals and surgery centers. At the time COVID-19 reared its ugly head, I was covering three hospitals. When COVID-19 started spiking, I just in “foot-first” to become a COVID-19 volunteer with New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, serving the hardest-hit areas with multiple healthcare, economic, racial disparities, and the highest loss of life in the nation.

Q: Why did you choose UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A: While in high school, although I enrolled in a gifted program called the Macy’s Health and Science program, I was always fascinated by the language of business and dreamt of becoming a business manager one day. After graduating high school, I applied to and was accepted to one of the top CUNY business Schools in New York City, Baruch College, where I intended to pursue my dreams. My mother grew impatient and rerouted my path in life by encouraging me to become a nurse. My first taste of management started in 2010 was when I purchased an investment property and opened Greene Legacy, Inc., to manage the property. Always ambitious, in 2016, when the opportunity presented itself, I started searching the web for schools with a DNP program since my profession will be requiring all CRNAs to possess a doctorate for entry into practice by 2025. I was fortunate enough to stumble on the only program I could find that offered a dual degree DNP/MBA program. It was a no brainer for me, a “win-win” because I saw a unique opportunity to complete my professional requirements while fulfilling a life-long dream of acquiring my MBA. I enrolled in a dual degree DNP/MBA Program at the University of Michigan-Flint. At the time, I was working two jobs as a CRNA, balancing work where I was the Chair of the Magnet Committee and a committed member of three other committees, family, and managing Greene Legacy, Inc.

Q: What is one of your favorite experiences at UM-Flint?
A: I enjoyed numerous experiences while enrolled in my program, where I frequented Michigan for the first time since migrating to the US. After high-school, I choose not to go away to college because I didn’t want to leave my parents. I always felt like I missed out on the opportunity of living on campus. I had the chance to travel to Flint; I stayed on campus during weekend classes. I had the privilege of being taught by the most outstanding professors and meeting so many people, some of whom have become lifelong friends. I have a fear of flying and would only take vacations to the Caribbean because the flights were short, and the environment was familiar. However, my aspirations changed last year while enrolled in my MBA program, when one of my professors, Professor Xu, came to visit one of my classes to educate us about the study-abroad Beijing Program. I was intrigued and challenged myself to rise above my fear of flying, and I am glad I did. I was exposed to a dynamic cultural experience rich in history, inclusive of quintessential food, tea, business, and family practices. It was my most memorable experience at UM-Flint.

School of Management Study Abroad trip to China in summer 2019.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: In 2003, when I was a Visiting Nurse, I was encouraged by a colleague to apply for the Nurse Anesthesia Program at SUNY Health and Science Center in Brooklyn. I enrolled in the program because I had already completed my bachelor’s degree, was becoming complacent and ready for a new challenge.

Q: What is one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
A: My proudest accomplishment is, by far, my dual-degree DNP/MBA. Before discovering the dual degree program, I never even fathom I would one day acquire my DNP much less a dual degree, which includes my dreams of obtaining my MBA. At the time I enrolled, I was juggling two jobs, a family, a daughter starting her college career. I was also managing my business and participating in numerous work responsibilities; “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet,” I pulled it off, graduating with honors. Thinking about this great accomplishment gives me chills. I bought my entire family to the SOM Honors and Awards ceremony; they were so proud. I was extremely excited to have the support of my family, including my daughter, young nephew, and cousins, to serve as an example of the possibilities the journey called life has to offer.

Marcia Yhap-Davson receiving her Most Outstanding MBA Student Award from Dean Johnson

Q: What advice would you give students that are thinking of pursuing a career in your field?
A: I would encourage anyone thinking about following my footsteps always to remember, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” You must believe in yourself; nothing is impossible, and “failure is not an option.” School is difficult; it requires commitment, humility, and patience. It was a bit easy for me because I was living a dream in my MBA Program. After all, it was something I always wanted to do. The language of business is fascinating to me. Every class I took while enrolled in the program was equated to different aspects of my life. I grew in leaps and bounds professionally and personally and applied the lessons I learned to all areas of my life.

Q: Fun Facts!
A: I love old movies, and different genres of music from the 60’s to ’90s. I enjoy shopping and traveling. Since getting a taste of Beijing, I plan on returning to Asia to visit Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, and Vietnam. I recently resigned from my full-time position at New York-Presbyterian Hospital to work full-time for my own company Seamless Systems Inc., administering anesthesia services as a contractor. I am currently in the process of partnering with a colleague in hopes of opening a private anesthesia staffing agency called Diverse Professional Solutions, LLC. My company will seek out and negotiate contracts for anesthesia providers at out-patient surgery centers and hospitals. It will eventually expand to provide staffing opportunities for other Allied Health Professionals.