Student Name: Vicki Phuong
MBA Concentration: Healthcare
Job Title & Employer: Contract Implementation Analyst at Medica
We had the opportunity to visit with Vicki about her career, educational goals, and all the fun stuff in between. Here’s what she had to say!
How did you choose the St. Kate’s MBA program over the other options available in the Twin Cities?
I selected the St. Kate’s MBA program due to the amazing flexibility, course offerings and personable faculty and staff. Having the ability to simultaneously attend school and build upon my professional career, as well as graduating in just 27 months, were the most attractive aspects of St. Kate’s MBA.
The St. Kate’s MBA program is designed for busy individuals to successfully obtain a solid education without having to make sacrifices.
Another great feature of St. Kate’s MBA program is that it follows a cohort model. Advancing through the MBA program with my peers has been a wonderful experience that has contributed to not only my success, but also my peers. The logistics behind a student-focused cohort model provides the academic support and convenience for working professionals pursuing higher education. I have developed strong bonds with my classmates and professors that I will cherish well past graduation.
Tell us about your career path. What are your long-term career goals, and how does an MBA impact that?
I’ve always had an interest in healthcare, but wanted to explore other sectors besides the clinical setting in which I can develop professionally. I obtained an internship at Medica working in Provider Network Operations. In this position, I assisted in managing in all things provider related, ranging from demographics and fee schedules, to various projects that involved the network. In addition to these tasks, there were internal process improvements to be made in order to streamline work and increase capacity.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, I was fortunate enough to obtain a full-time position within the same business unit at Medica. As a Provider Network Operations Analyst, I worked closely with provider reimbursement structure in our various claims systems, and continued to participate in various process improvement groups. Cross-functional collaboration was a critical piece in the success of Provider Network Operations and Medica, and I discovered that this responsibility was something I found enjoyable.
I continued to work as a Provider Network Operations Analyst during a merger with other business units at Medica to better improve our workflow and develop closer relationships. Here, I was promoted to a Contract Implementation Analyst. This position had responsibilities that involved complex provider reimbursement structure builds, along with reimbursement issue resolution and actively partaking in Medica-wide strategic projects to offer more health plan product choices to our members. During this time is where I gained sufficient knowledge on product development, management and maintenance when I participated in product builds.
Being exposed to product design and management had the biggest impact on deciding what I wanted to do with my professional career and thus, choosing to go back to school for additional education. Actively developing innovative products that could bring a positive outcome for the people we serve is why I continue to thrive as a working professional. The skills and knowledge set I needed to be successful in professional goals start with education and that is why the St. Kate’s MBA program is a great fit for me.
What’s your favorite thing to do in the Twin Cities?
When I am not busy with work and school, my free time is used up being active and enjoying the outdoors. During the summer, I love to go cycling on the countless trails, my favorite being the Dakota Rail Regional Trail (there is a fantastic bistro in St. Bonifacius right next to the trail!), and going for jogs out in Minneapolis. In the winter, I enjoy snowboarding at the various parks in Minnesota.
Interested in learning more about Vicki? You can connect with her on LinkedIn.