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Alumni Spotlight: Mahmoud Shurbaji ‘15

January 19, 2016

It’s been less than one year since Mahmoud Shurbaji graduated from the Health Services Administration program and he’s already putting his degree to good use. He’s also realized the value of a Drexel education, and the benefits of earning a degree focused on health care and business.

“I knew I wanted to help patients and improve care, but I was also interested in business,” said Shurbaji, reflecting on why he chose the Health Services Administration program over more clinically-focused programs. Shurbaji is currently working as an analyst at IMA Consulting, a professional services firm that helps health care organizations address complex issues. Working at IMA Consulting has enabled Shurbaji to help consumers and providers alike.

“It’s been a great experience so far,” said Shurbaji. “I get to be creative and analytical, and work with leaders who have 20+ years of experience at the intersection of health care and business.”

One of the reasons Shurbaji is having such a positive post-graduate experience, aside from his outgoing personality and resilient determination, is the fact that he felt incredibly prepared to enter the workforce.

“I feel like I have a leg up on some of my colleagues since I’m very familiar with the health care landscape,” said Shurbaji. “I understand the financial constraints and myriad variables that organizations like hospitals face on a daily basis.” Shurbaji attributes his understanding of the health care industry to the curriculum, faculty and classmates he encountered during his time at Drexel.

One of the most meaningful experiences he had while at Drexel was the relationships he built with two faculty members –Michelle Sahl, PhD, and Spencer Ward, PhD. Through Sahl’s and Ward’s mentorships, Shurbaji was able to learn from their professional and academic experiences and help shape his post-graduate trajectory. He also noted that Sahl and Ward, in addition to the rest of the Health Services Administration department, were excellent professors.

“They really understand the health care industry and are willing to go above and beyond to help you with anything you need,” said Shurbaji. “You can tell that they love teaching and helping students and want you to learn from their own professional experiences.”

Beyond mentorships, Shurbaji says that the Health Services Administration program exposed him to all facets of health care – bringing humanity to an otherwise profit-driven industry. He believes that Drexel embodied this ethos so much so that he applies the same perspective to the work he’s doing now.

It’s not surprising that Shurbaji is applying the skills learned in the Health Services Administration program in real life. In fact, Shurbaji has always been one to take advantage of and capitalize on the opportunities presented to him.

During his tenure at Drexel, Shurbaji served as President of the Undergraduate Student Government Association, interned at Jefferson Hospital, completed a marketing and communications co-op at Drexel and was a building manager and fitness instructor at Drexel’s Recreation Center. An Oklahoma native and firm believer in campus engagement, Shurbaji received numerous awards recognizing his involvement with and commitment to enhancing the student experience.

“There are a ton of opportunities at Drexel,” said Shurbaji, “but you have to be willing to take advantage of them.”