Finding Options in Healthcare Management: Mariana Casal '17 MBA (Evening)

Sept. 13, 2016

Healthcare management

Five Questions with Mariana Casal

Mariana Casal, MD and MPH, is currently a border infectious disease surveillance officer with the Arizona Department of Health Services. Casal’s team is collecting mosquito data from residents and health organizations to track the spread of the Zika virus in Santa Cruz County. She was recently selected to deliver a keynote address at her alma mater in Santiago, Chile, and explained how understanding mosquito migration contributes to preventing vector-borne diseases. Casal is also an Eller MBA student. Check out her responses to our five questions:

Where are you in the MBA program and do you have an area of focus?

I am a first-year Eller Evening MBA student. I don’t have a concentration, but I am interested in the healthcare administration classes.

Tell us about yourself: Where did you grow up? Where did you earn your undergraduate degree, and what was that in?

I am originally from Chile. I studied medicine at the Universidad de Valparaiso and graduated in 1996. I am a physician surgeon and worked in the pediatric emergency room and surgery after graduation. I am married and have two kids, 17 and 14, both boys. We immigrated to the United States in 2005 after living in Germany for almost three years. We were in Pasadena, California, for seven years and then came to Arizona in 2012.

What contributed to your decision to earn your MBA? What appealed to you about Eller?

I did a Master in Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology at the UA College of Public Health. Since then I am a Wildcat for life. I began working at the Office of Border Health and noticed I needed to learn more about management and administration to be a good program manager, and then I learned about a dual program for MPH/MBA offered at UA. It was too late for me to get the other degree, so I needed to do it separately. I love the UA and I liked the idea of the evening program for people who work, so I applied and was lucky to be accepted! I believe Eller can help me to develop new skills to apply in health administration.

What is your dream job? What do you aspire to do in life?

My dream has been to work at the Pam American Health Organization or World Health Organization. Having an MBA can also open doors to be health department director or epidemiology department director, so I believe if I get my MBA I will have more options.

Anything else to add?

I would like to add that it is never too late to get a degree. I was a little worried that Eller wouldn’t take my application due to my age, but I was wrong. I have many new friends in my class younger than me, and nobody cares, really! Eller is a place for everybody and anybody; you only need to work hard.