While working as a Senior IT Audit Manager at Philips Electronics in the early 2000s, John Schwartz saw the healthcare industry as a tremendous growth area, ripe with opportunity.

Armed with a broad range of business and technology skills, Schwartz decided in 2007 to take the next step in his career and enrolled in Suffolk’s Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) Program. Having been out of school for 10 years, Schwartz said he felt a little apprehensive at first. However, the support and guidance he received from his professors immediately eased his concerns. The healthcare faculty was extremely understanding and offered mentorship throughout the program, he said.

Taking classes with a diverse student body also played a critical role in Schwartz’s education at Suffolk. In each class, he collaborated with students ranging from healthcare administrators and clinicians to finance experts.

“Each person offered new perspectives,” he said. “I was learning from the students, as well as the professors. My classmates were also relatable because so many were simultaneously working in the field.”

Those classroom connections proved to be deep-rooted for Schwartz. “The continuing support you receive from alumni and professors is one of the biggest advantages of the program,” he said. “I still keep in touch with the professors. You build long-lasting business and personal relationships with Suffolk people.”

Since graduating in 2011, Schwartz has been asked to give talks on campus. As an expert in systems security and working with HIPAA compliance, Schwartz talks about some of the challenges in the healthcare industry and how to overcome them.

This past summer, Schwartz mentored a Suffolk student, an experience that was especially rewarding for him. The student was grateful for the hands-on experience and guidance he received, and relayed his gratitude in a letter to Schwartz after he accepted a position at Fidelity.

Schwartz received the Healthcare Program’s Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and was selected by professors and peers and nominated to the Suffolk Alumni Board of Directors.

He is currently working as an IS Audit Manager at Partners HealthCare System, a network of healthcare providers and biomedical research groups led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He has received four Partners in Excellence (PIE) awards, which he says, he would not have been able to achieve without his Suffolk MHA degree.