Elaine Auerbach is a managing partner and co-leader of the academic medicine practice at Kaye Bassman International in North Texas, one of the largest executive search firms in the country. She earned a master’s of business administration (MBA) and master’s of public health (MPH) from Columbia University.

(Photo Courtesy of Elaine Auerbach)

(Photo Courtesy of Elaine Auerbach)

Why did you pursue your chosen degrees?

“I knew that obtaining an MBA was the best route to securing a leadership role in health care management. It provided the content, exposure and connections to a network that may not have been attainable without the degree. After several years of work experience, I completed an MBA and a master’s in public health (MPH). The programs provided me with the management and leadership skills required for a successful career in business, supported by the public and environmental health knowledge helpful in working in a hospital or other health care setting. The MPH prepares students to become public health professionals capable of addressing current global health problems. Core coursework will include biostatistics, epidemiology, social and behavioral determinants of health, management sciences, practice/problem-solving, environmental health and biological sciences.”

What would you tell others who are considering pursuing a higher degree?

“Carefully research what added value the degree will bring to your professional career. The MBA in itself is not of value absent some experience demonstrating your proven management or leadership abilities. The degree does provide an additional credential that may be expected for some leadership roles, but it is certainly not a substitute for experience.”

What was the biggest challenge you faced while pursuing your degree?

“I began my graduate school training after several years of work experience. Returning to a classroom setting was invigorating and challenging. Many classes were taught using case studies and working in groups, which I was not accustomed to doing. Despite the initial adjustment, it proved to be one of the more valuable aspects of the program.”

What was the biggest reward for earning your degree?

“The degree program gave me access to internship opportunities that positioned me for future executive leadership roles in hospital and health care management. I was also exposed to a broad range of experienced business leaders both in my classroom and as invited speakers to school sponsored programs. These learning opportunities provided a strong foundation for my career advancement.”

Robin D. Everson’s appreciation for art, food, wine, people, and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. As a multi-faceted entrepreneur, Robin brings a unique look at the world of business through her many interviews and articles. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com