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On a Mission to Make Health Care Healthier

Health care practitioner Ashley Costello decides to pursue the health care business

Ashley Costello
Resident in Redwods Leadership Development Program, DaVita Kidney Care

Vanderbilt MBA 2018

Not many MBA students start their careers as Ashley Costello did. For several years, she worked as an agency nurse, delivering care at the bedsides of patients in hospital emergency departments across the District of Columbia.

The experience gradually brought her to a realization: “I discovered I was becoming more interested in how the processes that supported the clinical staff were designed and implemented,” she says.

Her interest in the business and operations side of health care brought her to Vanderbilt. “The availability of the Health Care MBA at a top-ranked university in a city with a robust health care culture and environment made the decision easy,” Ashley says. “I also knew I wanted to leave DC for a place where I can establish roots in the community.”

At Vanderbilt, in addition to learning business (and the business of health care) in the classroom, Ashley is able to shape her experience by taking advantage of other opportunities related to her interests. During her first year, she served as co-chair for the Vanderbilt Business Health Care Conference. She also was named a Fellow for the Center of Health Care Market Innovation, in which she works with Professor Larry Van Horn.

Meanwhile, as she had hoped, Nashville is a city where Ashley is quickly putting down some roots. She loves hiking in Percy Warner Park, the music at Robert’s Western World on Lower Broadway and Belcourt Taps closer to the Vanderbilt Campus, and the food at Frothy Monkey in 12South.

At the end of her first year, she landed an internship with the kidney care giant DaVita.

“I have never felt so certain,” she says, “that I am in the right place at the right time as I do here at Vanderbilt.”

Fun Fact: Ashley used to practice the flying trapeze as a hobby.