Lina Agha has always had a passion for science and medicine. Earning her graduate degree 100% online has enabled her to share this passion with others.
Agha, who graduated in 2017 with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration with a specialization in Strategic Leadership from Valparaiso University, had the opportunity to teach within her field of nuclear medicine.
“My master’s degree allowed me to actually teach at a college within my experience, thus opening up another opportunity for me in the education field.”
We spoke with Agha about her background, academic journey and more.
Q. Tell us about your background.
I am from Chicago but lived in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, when I was young because my parents, who are physicians, worked there for some time. I pursued my BS in Molecular Biology and then went to a certification school in nuclear medicine technology at Northwestern in Chicago.
I have always had a passion for science and medicine, and always wanted to have a career in providing a high quality of care, which is highly needed in any medical setting. I worked in the diagnostic imaging field in the U.S. and was stationed at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Later on, I worked in the Cleveland Clinic in the UAE to bring about state-of-the-art diagnostic healthcare to that region given the experience I had. With such a career and while working and climbing up to leadership positions, I went on to pursue my master’s, which opened up many other career options.
Q. What were the most important factors in your decision to choose Valparaiso University?
I was very determined to be part of an accredited program as well as one strong in the healthcare field. Valparaiso was able to give me that while continuing my full workload.
Q. How will your Valpo degree make a difference in your career?
My degree actually opened up another great opportunity for me to teach within my field of nuclear medicine! Earning my master’s is one of the best decisions I have made, especially with not being able to work full-time now with having kids.
Q. Do you have any plans now that you have your degree?
Having to resign from my lead nuclear medicine technologist position overseas and return to the U.S. with my kids, I looked for an opportunity where I could teach within my field. My master’s degree allowed me to actually teach at a college related to my experience, thus opening up another opportunity for me in the education field.
Q. What surprised you most about taking an online program?
I was surprised by the similarity in the science/medical field amongst all the students with their different backgrounds despite the distance between all students and faculty. I was also surprised by how closely we worked together and achieved actual project implementation, all through effective communication online!
Q. What was your favorite class and why?
Quality Health Care Management. It is such a hot topic in the healthcare field no matter what country you work in. Everything revolves around it; the success of a healthcare institution/facility lies in quality. We worked as a team – I actually led the team to finish up the assignments, which resulted in a strong A as our grade. On top of that, I have learned so many tools and techniques to apply quality healthcare to any department.
Q. What was your most valuable takeaway from the program?
My most valuable takeaway was how to strategically apply any project or change anywhere in the facility I work at, along with strong skills in leadership and team effort.
Q. What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?
To definitely go for it, as it will open up all kinds of different opportunities and take you higher up the ladder in whatever career path you choose.
Q. Who has been your support system?
My husband and family were always there to help me and push me to succeed.
Q. What was the most challenging part of your student journey?
Juggling kids and trying to find time to make sure you are on top of things. But the flexibility of the program made that easy.
Q. Who or what inspires you to succeed?
My passion for giving high-quality healthcare.
Q. What is one fun fact about you?
I love traveling and know a lot about different cultures and backgrounds.
Looking for inspiration to advance your education? Check out more Success Stories from our students and graduates here.