For the past year we have contemplated the daunting decision of whether or not Jason should go back to school when his current project ends. We talk about it from time to time and go back and forth on our decision, but have ultimately put it off knowing that the decision didn't have to made right away. However, after four long years, the renovation/vertical expansion of Swedish Medical Center is finally coming to an end. Meaning decision time has crept up on us... Jason began his job with Bovis Lendlease as the Project Engineer, was recently promoted to Assistant Project Manager and could potentially be promoted to Project Manager down the road (at a different job site, obviously). This would be great if he actually enjoyed working in the construction industry, however, projects come and go and with his type of job comes a lot of uncertainty which can be difficult while raising children. When one project ends, will he be assigned to another? If so, where will we have to pick up and relocate to? His company operates internationally and is based out of Australia... so who knows where we'd end up? Or, will the company one day be struggling and just decide to let him go altogether?
Obviously, it can be very frustrating not knowing where you'll be or what's going to happen from one project to the next. His current project has lasted four years, but that is very uncommon. Most jobs are only one or two years. As we have kids, it will be difficult for them to relocate so frequently, not to mention stressful for us. So we've decided we better buckle down and go back to school while we're still young and our family is still small.
After working at Swedish, Jason spent some time with the COO of the hospital and became interested in the administration side of things. He went to lunch with him and discussed his options on how to pursue a career in Healthcare Administration. Trent (the COO of Swedish) raved about the University of Alabama Birmingham's Healthcare Administration program (where he had gone to school) and highly recommended it for Jason. He even wrote Jason a letter of reccommendation and called the admissions office of the school to speak with the program director (who happens to be a fellow BYU alumni) and put in a good word! Jason was able to speak with some people within the admissions department as well and learn a bit more about the program. The more we hear, the better it sounds! They even have a dual MHA/MBA program available, two masters for the price of one! We also looked into other schools just to be sure of our decision. The top programs are: Cal Berkley- who can afford to live in California though? University of Michigan- freezing cold, no thanks! Viginia Commonwealth- No dual MBA program. UNC-tempting, we would LOVE to live in Raleigh (just two hours from Jason's parents) but the application deadline passed before Jason was able to take the GMAT, PLUS tuition for the program is $100,000! So, Alabama it is! Unfortunately, we agreed he should apply to the program just a few weeks ago, however, the application deadline was March 1st and Jason still hadn't taken the GMAT. This is no ordinary test! It's like the ACT on steroids. Imagine taking that when you've been out of school/the habit of studying for nearly four years! Yikes! He signed up for a prep course, buckled down and basically spent every waking minute of the past 6 weeks studying his butt off. His bosses have been amazing! They have given him so much time off to study and have really supported him through this whole process. We are very grateful for them! Anyway, after a truly awful month, Jason finally took the test and... did awesome! Of course, he's not happy with his score but he far exceeded the minimum requirement to get into Alabama, which by the way, is top five in the country for Healthcare Administration. So, I'd say he did ok! And, I'm so proud of him!
As of Sunday, Jason sent in his application. One day before the deadline I might add. Yikes! Since it's a top five program and they only have 32 spots, applying this late was a bit risky, but considering he couldn't apply without taking that pesky GMAT, he didn't have much of a choice. He flies out to Birmingham this week for a job interview and has arranged his interview with the University as well. We're keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well!