Recent Grad Realizes Long-Awaited Dream
Blake De Vries, MHA
Thanks to his hard work in Weber State University’s Executive Master of Health Administration (eMHA) program, Blake De Vries’ dream is no longer deferred.
He’s now a project manager for SelectHealth operations, but his road to healthcare administration was a winding one that started way back when he was an undergraduate student. As part of his studies, he took a skills test that suggested healthcare administration as a good fit. He even completed an internship at Logan Regional Hospital, and he loved it. Nevertheless, life took him in a different direction. He graduated in public relations, first landing a role as a liaison for a civil engineering firm. He later moved to the tech industry, where he entered sales, provided well for his family and liked his work.
He couldn't shake that healthcare calling, though.
“I always had healthcare in the back of my mind,” he said.
With a little encouragement from his wife, De Vries decided to chase that dream. He applied to MHA programs and ended up in Weber State’s eMHA program. As a mid-career professional, he was drawn to the program’s flexibility. He still had some trepidation, however. Would his skills from the tech industry translate into a career in health administration? I lacked a lot of confidence with an industry transition,” he said.
That confidence grew as he availed himself of his many professors’ offers to meet and help out.
“It just helped pave that path for me and create connections and understanding,” De Vries said.
He and his wife had a child in the middle of his education, and the online format enabled him to continue without skipping a beat. It meant some early mornings, juggling and hard work, but he did it.
In addition, he completed a capstone in which he created a market analysis for Intermountain Homecare and Hospice in Clark County, Nevada, where he made the connections that led to his current job.
Now De Vries is enjoying his new role overseeing SelectHealth’s Healthy Connections project management, and he says it’s given him a new sense of purpose.
“Since I’ve started being true to myself, I’ve known that I’ve wanted to make the greatest impact possible in the world — and through a healthcare lens,” he said.
Now that he has a foothold, De Vries is also looking toward the future. He eventually wants to focus more deeply on home healthcare patients.