Kim (Piche) Radel
Year of Graduation: 2003
Major(s): Management (now Global Business Leadership)
Minor(s): Spanish (now Hispanic Studies)
Current Position: Product Development Director, Provider Solutions, Optum (Graduate School: University of MN-Carlson School of Management, Master's Degree in Healthcare Administration - MHA, graduated 2005)
How did you get this position and what seemed appealing to you?
The network of classmates and colleagues I have fostered over the years has been critical to my professional development and career opportunities. After working at Allina Health since 2005 in various healthcare delivery leadership positions, I was at a point in my career to explore other segments of the industry. Through a graduate school friend, I was introduced to a leader at Optum who was looking to expand his team, which led me to my current position in product development in a health services organization.
The appealing part of my current role is the ability to drive change and innovation in a constantly evolving healthcare industry. I have the opportunity to design solutions with physicians and healthcare leaders geared to improve the quality of care provided to patients and help to reduce the overall spend on valuable healthcare resources.
What has been the biggest transition since graduation?
The biggest transition since graduating from St. Ben's happened soon after graduation – I purchased a house, graduated from the MHA program, and started a new job all within two months. There continues to be no shortage of life transitions for my Johnnie husband and me. We live a busy and exciting life keeping up with our two children, enjoying the outdoors, serving others through volunteering, and traveling the world when we can fit it in!
What suggestions/advice would you give to current students thinking about the health care field?
The healthcare field is filled with wonderful career opportunities. Explore the many sides of healthcare to find the one that best meets your passion and interests! There is a range of prospects in multiple segments of the healthcare industry - patient care delivery (hospital, clinics, home care), health insurance, medical pharmaceutical and device, healthcare IT, public health and more! Exciting roles range from clinical (such as a physician, nurse, social worker, or therapist), to technical (bio-medical engineer or computer programmer for healthcare software), to business (sales, marketing, accounting, health law, or administrator). The most rewarding factor of any job in healthcare is that you are either directly or indirectly improving care to patients in need.
What internship and job search strategies would be helpful?
I have found that a variety of internships and jobs are helpful to not only find what you are interested in but also to show an employer that you have perspectives from different areas of healthcare. During my time at St. Ben's and in graduate school at the U of MN, I worked as a patient registrar in a hospital, an intern at HealthPartners Medical Insurance, and as a volunteer delivering meals to people with HIV/AIDS. I also participated in the "Mentor for a Day" program as a sophomore and had the opportunity to "shadow" an alum working in healthcare administration. In addition, be outgoing and persistent! You should never be afraid to call alumni or anyone else you may know in the field and ask for information or ideas on where to look for new opportunities.