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Alumni Spotlight

Passion for helping others inspires military veteran Nilson Fernandes to pursue his master's in healthcare management

military veteran Nilson Fernandes pursues his master's in healthcare management

Nilson Fernandes, current candidate in in the Master of Healthcare Management program, always knew that he was destined to work in healthcare. During his eight years of service in the Army as a medical operations officer, Nilson was responsible for everything from managing medical supply chains to overseeing a staff of 43 medical professionals. His passion for helping others brought him to Boston Children's Hospital, where as a patient services administrator, he continued to learn about the administrative side of the growing healthcare industry.

One day while riding the T in Boston, Nilson saw an advertisement for the Master of Healthcare Management program at New England College of Business. He reached out and after a few conversations, he discovered that the curriculum, faculty and flexibility of the program were a perfect fit for him as he sought to make a difference in his evolving field.

“New England College of Business was the right choice for three reasons: flexibility, reputation and faculty,” says Nilson. “I needed a program that fit with my busy work schedule, provided a reasonable timeline for completing assignments and was run by some of the best in the business.”

Nilson says that the most challenging aspect of this experience thus far has been time management.

“Understanding how to balance work, school and other priorities can be tough at times,” he says. “But I am constantly reminding myself that this education is an investment in my future, so sacrificing free time for studies is a must and worth the work.”

As for his favorite part? He, like most of the students at New England College of Business, is able to apply the lessons learned in class to his career in real-time.

“For example, in my healthcare policy and law class, we're discussing implications of the Affordable Care Act on our current and future healthcare models,” says Nilson. “It's an area that my classmates, professors and I are actually working with outside of school, so being able to take what I'm learning and apply it the very next day is invaluable.”

Nilson anticipates graduating in May 2016 and has his sights set on becoming an executive in the field of healthcare management.

“I'm confident that I'll get there if I continue to put in the work and surround myself with the right people,” Nilson says. “In the military, we learn that to get what you want, it's going to take passion, sacrifice and time. As long as you're focused and driven, anything is possible.”

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