MHA On the Move Student Journey
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It’s a lesson everyone learns eventually: Plans change.
Consider Cecilia Sardiña’s plan. Not long after finishing her undergraduate degree in human services at MSU Denver, she planned to get some experience before earning a master’s in clinical mental health to become a counselor. Cecilia landed in a perfect place to get that experience: a local nonprofit focused on behavioral health.
However, when she got there, the staff was small and she was pulled into billing and managing data. Not the plan. Yet, the more she dabbled in the business side, the more she liked it.
“I realized that I loved doing the background administrative tasks – it was a way to support the mission and the therapists in their work. Addressing mental health on a systemic level can positively impact many people.”
“I realized that I loved doing the background administrative tasks – it was a way to support the mission and the therapists in their work,” Cecilia says. “Addressing mental health on a systemic level can positively impact many people.”
She just needed to pivot and get more education – but there was a problem. “I feared being at a disadvantage without experience. I didn’t know how hospitals and other healthcare organizations worked, plus I hadn’t taken any business classes.”
But as she explored MHA further, she learned none of that mattered. She was able to take some prerequisite business classes and learn all about healthcare organizations in an intro class.
Today Cecilia is thriving in MHA because of the same welcoming and supportive spirit she had as an undergrad.
“Going back to school has been a major adjustment, but having friends who understand my life and having professors who want me to succeed is making all the difference.”