George Mason University
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George Mason University

Victoria Elliott, HAP Student, is Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) Finalist

April 14, 2015

The Presidential Management Fellowship was developed as an entry level training program that cultivates a cadre of leaders. Joining the ranks of this elite program is College of Health and Human Services' student, Victoria Elliott, a master candidate in health administration. This May, Elliott will be graduating with a master of health administration (MHA). Her course work has focused on health systems management with a concentration in risk management and patient safety. She will simultaneously be earning a certificate in health policy. 

Elliott had first-hand experience with a current PMF. After seeing the opportunities the PMF had to lead, manage, and collaborate, Elliott became interested in applying for the program. The College of Health and Human Services allowed Elliott to learn from several experienced professors who helped Elliott see beyond the textbook and provide her with skills she can use in real life.   

During her two-year fellowship, Elliott will build off of her experience at Mason by sharpening her leadership skills through rotations, training programs, and networking. This coveted fellowship has launched the careers of thousands of new graduates whether they continued in the federal government or the private sector.

We recently spoke with Victoria about the fellowship and how her education at Mason prepared her for the program.

What motivated you to apply for this fellowship?  

My motivation to apply to the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program derived from my experience as a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Summer Pathways Intern 14' within the Innovation Center.  Upon my arrival to the Learning and Diffusion Group, I was introduced to the assigned PMF and saw firsthand the leadership and management opportunities given to him; as well as his contributions to the team.  Prior to my internship, I was not planning to apply to the program.   

I discovered the PMF Program during my first semester at Mason (Fall 13') while searching the internet for pre-doctoral fellowships.  After reviewing the 2012-2013 PMF Finalist listings and observing that only a handful of MHA graduates were selected, I felt my chance of being selected was minimal.  Well, I am glad that I applied.  Why not, right?  At the end of every day, I rather had tried and failed, than to not try and never know how far I would have flourished.    

How did the College help you prepare for the fellowship?   

The College of Health and Human Services helped me to prepare for this program by affording me the opportunity to learn from professors whom have real-life professional experiences in their respective areas.  Having an awareness of how my perspective career field works beyond the textbooks was essential during every stage of the PMF Program process.  During my MHA program, my leadership, management, communication, collaboration, and strategic thinking skills enhanced.  Though the applicant pool was professionally diverse, the manners of how I lead, managed, and reacted to situations prove to be above the rest.  My relative minor body language, such as focusing my eyes on every speaker, triggered large-scale positive reactions.  I could not have achieved the Presidential Management Fellow Finalist status without the aid from the College of Health and Human Services.

Why did you apply to Mason? 

I applied to Mason because the MHA program is CAHME accredited and its curriculum fit my professional needs.  Prior to applying, I reviewed each required course listing to determine if Mason could provide me with the knowledge that I was seeking.  I can assure all that I have received more than I could have imagined.  Mason has some really intelligent and spiffy professors.  Though I was accepted into the program back in 2011 and did not attend, I must thank Mason for giving me a second opportunity.  I must say that I used it well.  We just put its MHA program on the PMF map! 

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