Our Stories

Enjoying the Red Carpet Treatment

Naval officer finds Vanderbilt a welcoming place for move to health care career

Jared Clifford
Senior Director of Operations, DaVita Medical Group

Vanderbilt MBA 2017

During his first year in the MBA program, Jared Clifford analyzed bundled payment options — a topic at the forefront of today’s health care revolution — for Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The experience stands out to him for two reasons.

First, says the former Navy intelligence officer, “I was able to take everything I had learned to that point and apply it in a real-world situation to help VUMC tackle a very tough problem that the entire health care industry was facing in shifting to value-based care.”

Even more, he says, the project reminded Jared of why he was pursuing a health care career after eight years in the Navy. “I believe in public service,” he says, “and need a strong sense of purpose at work. An MBA was a vital step toward a career that could allow me to help improve the care others receive.”

As he transitioned to civilian life, Jared chose Vanderbilt over a number of other MBA programs. One reason he’s glad he did: “Vanderbilt,” he says, “really rolls out the red carpet for vets from the application process all the way through graduation. The faculty and staff are supremely supportive, from enrollment deferrals due to military obligations to being recognized by professors in class on Veterans Day. Everyone at Owen really appreciates veterans’ experiences and skills.

“As I considered a transition from the military and weighed my employment options, I was unimpressed with most of my limited opportunities. I knew an MBA would help, but I’ve been blown away by the numerous outstanding doors that have opened up after I came to Vanderbilt.”

Fun Fact: Jared was a member of the first class to enter the Naval Academy after 9/11.

“Vanderbilt really rolls out the red carpet for vets.”