Our Stories

Redeploying Herself into Healthcare

Army spouse takes advantage of posting to pursue her MBA

Maggie Sims
Optum Leadership Experience (OLE) Intern, Optum

Vanderbilt MBA 2021

Maggie Sims was literally in the right place at the right time to pursue a Vanderbilt MBA. Her husband, an active-duty Army intelligence officer, was deployed to Fort Campbell (about an hour northwest of Nashville) in mid-2018. Her employer at the time reassigned Maggie to its Nashville office, so she became accustomed to making the daily commute.

“I had reached a point in my career where I loved what I was doing but didn’t see myself making a career out of it,” Maggie says. “I wanted to round out my business background and learn how to be a manager.” She also hoped to pivot from the financial services industry to healthcare.

Given her location, goals, and timing, a Vanderbilt MBA with a concentration in healthcare was a very attractive option. “It seemed like a perfect alignment of circumstances,” Maggie says. “I felt at home at Owen from the first visit to campus. The culture was exactly what I wanted in a business school, and I knew I could receive a high-quality education in and out of the classroom.”

In addition to an immersion in healthcare and business learning, Maggie has gained new skills in other areas that are helping her become an effective business leader. For example, she credits Professor Kimberly Pace’s class in Management Communications with teaching her how to build a personal brand and learn new presentation and communication skills (she became the course’s lead teaching assistant in her second year).

“The students, faculty, and staff encourage me to always continue learning and growing,” Maggie says. “I am able to build on my strengths while also acquiring new skills and working on my weaknesses through the variety of resources offered. Owen has given me access to subjects that are completely new to me in a safe arena, so I can learn as much as possible without having to worry about keeping my job.”

Fun Fact: Maggie enjoys walks around Nashville’s Centennial Park, across the street from Vanderbilt’s campus, on pleasant days.

Owen has given me access to subjects that are completely new to me in a safe arena.