Jamie Hill

Grad student’s experience illustrates how WWU instruction is directly applicable to the “real world”

For graduate student Jamie Hill, the idea that a William Woods education provides real world experience is not just some marketing slogan. Recently for her, it became reality.

Hill utilized research of her business model from one of her WWU graduate class assignments and applied the ideas in a presentation to hospital executives at her place of employment, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain in Mexico, MO. The presentation to the company’s Board of Directors, an overview of the organization regarding its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) with recommendations for improvements of organization-wide processes and success for sustainability, was well received by the group with main points being highly considered for implementation in the near future. ​

“I will admit that I was a bit nervous presenting a slide show of this importance to the leadership group at my organization,” said Hill, a registered nurse for 13 years and mother of three teenagers. “However, I was more confident than I have been in the past in terms of presentations because I felt more prepared knowing that the material was reviewed beforehand.”

With over 10 years experience in intensive care units and emergency rooms and currently working as an infection preventionist, Hill is currently seeking a Master’s Degree in Health Administration at William Woods, with plans to graduate in August 2021. The course Business 522, a business elective that is required for her degree, helped prepare her for her high-powered moment in front of company management. 

Jamie Hill

“This course was my best thus far and will be my most memorable,” Hill said. “The course and materials were interactive, and I learned how to apply the material presented in real life.“

In the course, Hill worked with professor Dr. Thomas Trice, program manager and associate professor of business, on using the research she conducted on St. Mary’s Hospital and implementing it into a real-world business model for the organization. For presenting this analysis to her Board of Directors and immediate supervisors, Trice suggested tips for building a powerpoint presentation so that it tied in the key takeaway points. 

Thomas Trice

“It was very honorable to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Trice,” Hill said. “He was flexible with my schedule in terms of zoom meetings that assisted me with coordination of a powerpoint presentation that was composed from my final project for this course.”

Trice taught Hill that no matter what challenges life throws our way, as long as one follows the “DDC’s” of life, which stand for Determination, Dedication, and Commitment, professionalism and success are possible. As Hill’s professor, Trice believes that the qualities that made Jamie stand out in class was her ability to critically think about the information that was provided to her.

“She was not afraid to be challenged and she always provided well thought-out responses,” Trice said. “Additionally, she pushed her peers in the classroom and was outstanding when it came to analyzing strategic management issues.”

A student like Hill, in Trice’s eyes, perfectly exemplifies the mission of WWU of producing students who are independent critical thinkers and good citizens both inside and outside the classroom. 

“Today’s organizations are looking for people with characteristic traits that Jamie possesses, and when they find out what University a student like her attended, it shines an outstanding spotlight of positivity on the University as a whole,” Trice said. “Jamie is a magnificent example of what students can achieve when they have a strong work-ethic, a willingness to be challenged and a commitment to excellence. Students like Jamie inspire professors like myself and reinforce all the reasons we love academia.”

The courses at WWU were so helpful to Hill that she is actually considering pursuing an MBA degree after she has completed the MHA degree, as it will align her career goals.

“Taking online classes at WWU has been a wonderful experience with supportive staff members where I have always felt that things were explained when needed,” Hill said. “The courses enable me to continue with balancing things that life throws my way.”

Even if life throws you a high-pressure presentation to high-level company management while you are still a student like it did for Jamie Hill.