Professional Development

While students enter our program with varying levels of professional experience, our program's faculty and staff greatly value continued professional growth among all our current students. Beyond displaying professional demeanors during courses, our MHA graduate students are encouraged to seek out professional growth opportunities throughout their time in the program. The MHA at Illinois offers students access to many resources to help them further their professional development.

Program Opportunities

Below are opportunities the MHA program leadership team curated to give students unique experiences and chances to develop professionally while in the program.

Etiquette Dinner

At the beginning of the program, first-year students will attend a formal dinner at a local restaurant with the program leadership team to learn about dining etiquette. As business dinners are a common occurrence in the health administration field, the goal is to give students the opportunity to learn and practice before entering the workforce.

Lean Six Sigma Black Belt

Lean Six Sigma is a methodology for improving processes by reducing defects and waste. Certification levels, or "belts," indicate expertise: Yellow (basic), Green (advanced), Black (expert), and Master Black Belt (strategic leader). MHA students have the opportunity to complete through a Black Belt with the help of program resources.

EQi Assessment & Coaching

MHA Director, Lynne Barnes, is a qualified EQi Coach. As part of the MHA program, students will complete an EQi assessment and coaching session with her. EQi testing and assessment measures emotional intelligence (EI) by evaluating self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and interpersonal skills. It helps individuals and organizations understand and enhance emotional strengths and areas for development.

Professional Development Funding

Each academic year, MHA students have an opportunity to apply for financial assistance to help offset the cost of attending a professional conference and/or events. Funds may apply to virtual conferences and/or events. In addition, funds may also be used towards memberships in a professional organization, such as the American College of Healthcare Executives. Students may apply for this award in each year they are enrolled. The funds can be used toward conference registration, housing (ex: hotels), travel (ex: car, plane, train) and professional organization membership fees.

Part-Time Job Opportunities

In collaboration with the two health systems in the Champaign-Urbana area, each system has offered two part-time positions to be held for incoming MHA students. These part-time job opportunities are a great way to gain a few years of work experience while being a student in the program. Students who are interested will have the chance to apply for these positions and potentially hold the position the entirety of the program.

Campus-Wide Opportunities

Below are professional development opportunities available to all University of Illinois students.

Illinois Leadership Center

The Illinois Leadership Center offers students the opportunity to grow professionally in a safe environment.  Students can participate in a multitude of free events and opportunities, such as i-Programs and Leadership workshops.

Career Center

The Career Center offers students free services, such as Career Coaching, Mock Interview sessions and cover letter/resume reviews.  Regardless of where a student enters, the Career Center can help deliver those professional results students need to enter the next phase of their lives in health administration. 

Graduate College's Career Development Office

The Career Development Office within the Graduate College provides career development advising services and workshops to graduate students.  They also serve as a resource to students through their workshops and video tutorials. 

LinkedIn Learning

All University of Illinois students have access to LinkedIn Learning, which provides a plethora of professional education opportunities to students, free of charge.  Students simply log in and browse the system for areas of interest.

Class, Program, & Campus Guest Speakers

Speakers from on- and off-campus are often invited to speak with our MHA students. Students are also invited to a multitude of HK Colloquium Speaker Series events and campus speaking engagements as well.  For students with a true desire to connect with others, there is no shortage of connections available through our program and the University. 

Career Fairs

There are a wide range of career fairs that take place on our campus.  All students are encouraged to attend to practice their networking and professionalism skills.  These opportunities are shared with current students via e-mail and class announcements. 

Contact Information