Alumni Interview: Jack Agrasuta – Master of Healthcare Administration

Jack Agrasuta is a Denison alumni who graduated in 2019 with a degree in Biology. Since then, he has received his Masters of Healthcare Administration, graduating in the Spring of 2021 and began a job at Mount Carmel hospital.

Originally born in Thailand, Jack moved to Boston when he was 5 years old. After receiving the Posse Foundation scholarship, he attended Denison as a biology major on the pre-med track. At Denison, he was involved in Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the gospel choir, club volleyball, Asian culture club, and was a June-O leader. One of his most impactful moments at Denison was when he organized a Thai Dinner fundraiser that was able to donate $2000 back to a school. This was the same school he had visited in rural Thailand and he was able to fund 64 students in addition to constructing a roof on the school and donating school supplies. Jack found himself surprised by how his creativity could truly make an impact on such a large scale.

While at Denison, Jack made sure to take advantage of the resources offered by the Knowlton center, including our very own Sara Stasko. At the Knowlton Center, he found assistance on graduate school planning, cover letter and resume writing, and working on letters of recommendation in addition to just being able to get great feedback and pick people’s brains about the career world.

One resource that Jack utilized was the Denison Internship Program stipend for his internship at a children’s rehabilitation center in Mexico. This was a really impactful experience during his undergraduate career, which allowed him to work with a variety of medical professionals including physicians, physical therapists, and administrators. Here he gained firsthand experience with compassionate care, and quality care for patients inspiring him in his future career to improve quality care at hospitals.

While Jack had wanted to be a doctor since he was 5 years old, he was not entirely sure on pursuing medical school straight out of his undergraduate experience, which led him to a MHA program. When choosing a graduate program, he was between MPH and MHA, ultimately choosing MHA because it would allow him to make a large impact on the community and serve as a stepping stone into the healthcare field with its wide variety of job opportunities. In choosing to go to Ohio State for the program, he was impressed with the strong alumni network, the small program, similar to what he had experienced at Denison with strong relationships between students and professors, and the opportunity to do clinical rotations at the Wexner Medical Center. Additionally, the program at Ohio State is well known and ranked 7th in the country, a prestige that Jack hoped would bring excellent career opportunities in the future.

As he stepped into his two-year program, it was initially a hard adjustment because the MHA curriculum was much more business oriented compared to his biology degree and the hard science classes he had been taking as an undergraduate. Jack found that the content was difficult and he often felt like the odd one out since many of the students in this program came in with degrees more suited for the MHA curriculum such as economics or business. Even with these challenges, he found that the same skills that he had developed at Denison served him well in his masters program such as going to professors’ office hours and the power of hard work.

Finishing up his masters degree, Jack began to search for jobs relevant to his expertise. When he graduated in the spring, he had yet to secure a job but was doing lots of networking and interviewing. Ultimately, he ended up in a role as a Clinical Quality Specialist at Mount Carmel Hospital in Columbus, a position that was created for him based on his skillset and potential. Feeling lucky to be afforded this opportunity, Jack credits his passion and aim for creating positive change and the authenticity of being yourself as qualities that landed him this job.

Although he just started this current job, Jack still has big plans for the future. He plans to spend 2-3 years at this job especially to gain experience working with clinical staff and exposure to how hospitals operate in addition to volunteering as a medical scribe and shadowing during this time. With these experiences, he is hoping that he will have more clarity about whether medical school is the right future path for him. Currently, he is very interested in emergency medicine and can envision himself as a chief medical officer or the CEO of a hospital. Alternatively, if he likes his current area of work enough, he could envision himself moving up within hospital administration to a manager position and possibly go all the way up to a vice president or president position. With his current position and education, Jack is well poised to pursue a variety of medical career paths.

Jack’s advice to Denison students is that it is important to get out of your comfort zone since you won’t stay in one job your entire life. He thinks exposing yourself to different fields is critical! He also encourages students to use their liberal arts knowledge to tap into their critical thinking skills, work hard, and believe in themselves to find success in the future.

By Erin Kistler
Erin Kistler Peer Career Fellow: Healthcare and Clinical Research