As a first-year Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) student, Greg Bloom was new to the field. Then he met Michael Felicetta.

Greg and Michael connected through Suffolk’s Healthcare Mentor Program, where students are paired with experienced healthcare administration professionals who provide one-on-one career counseling and support.

Mentors share their experience and knowledge to help students integrate what they learn in the classroom with what happens in the workplace. Pairs are selected based on shared areas of interest and expertise.

When Greg wanted to explore career possibilities in health administration, he was matched with Michael, a clinical practice manager at Harvard Vanguard. “Michael and I met when I was in the middle of transitioning fields, and he provided sound advice,” Greg said.

Michael emphasized the importance of gaining hands-on experience to help Greg figure out his ideal career path. In fact, Michael had a friend working as a practice manager, and through his network, he helped Greg land a full-time position as a practice assistant at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

During the school year, students like Greg meet with their mentors in person periodically, and stay in touch by phone, email, and/or text messaging. For many students, the mentor relationship endures long after the school year ends.

“In addition to helping me get a job, Michael has also advised me on the next steps to take in my career, which I know will prove to be helpful,” Greg said.

“The most important piece of advice I’ve gotten from Michael is to take the initiative and get involved in as many roles as possible at my job,” shared Greg. “Gaining more experience and exposure to many areas of healthcare administration will help me become a better leader.”

For Michael, working with Greg has helped him build his own skills as well.

“It’s a chance for me to talk about the industry, give advice, reflect on my experiences, and grow as a person,” he said.

It wasn’t long ago that Michael was an MHA student himself. The 2011 graduate said being a mentor is an opportunity to give back and be part Suffolk's growing healthcare community.

“The mentor program is great for students, especially those new to the industry who need help finding direction. The mentor is like your compass. They’re there for you to bounce ideas off of,” Michael said.

To help other students build connections like Greg and Michael’s, the Sawyer Business School hosts an annual Healthcare Mentor Program Kickoff in the fall.