Life At TISS And Beyond : An MHA Perspective - Saniya Sharma
Content & PR team - MBAtious
Author : Saniya Sharma -- Originally, from everywhere in India. In her own words, "Perks/Perils of being a ward of an Army Officer commissioned into Infantry!" She loves cats, food and books rooted in mind-boggling fiction (like Harry Potter, LOTR and A Song of Fire and Ice) in that order. Once upon a dream, she was a dentist. At that time, she also used to blog random foolosophies, poems and short stories, before she decided to wake up and star in the story of her life as the lead protagonist. Now, she is pursuing Masters in Hospital Administration at Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
It's been an year and a quarter more since my journey began at TISS, as a Masters in Hospital Administration student. Two years ago, I was doing my internship at Faculty of Dental Sciences in King George's Medical University. The exact moment when I decided to be a part of this ambitious course can be traced back to that dark period, when I realized that the healthcare industry was in dire need of embracing the essentials of management. What better place to learn that and much more, from School of Health System and Studies at TISS, which laid down the basics of managerial sciences in healthcare industry starting in 1980 itself. By 1993, certificate programs gave way to post-graduation degree programmes. After an All India preliminary test and a written examination which was followed by an interview, I was finally a part of this organization. That's right. It isn't just a teaching institute. It is an organization in itself with core emphasis on social sciences. It became well evident, when in the first semester itself, we were subjected to the gruelling Foundation Courses. They oriented us with the everyday social realities of our world. Plus in the second, third and fourth semesters, we are required to complete at least 8 credits as per the mandatory Choice Based Credit System. This enables all TISS students to choose interdisciplinary subjects spread across 9 different schools which adds to the versatility of our curriculum.
Then, of course, the curriculum in itself encompasses Quality in Healthcare Industry: Planning, Improvement, Assessment and Evaluation, Administration of Clinical and Support Services, Operations and Project Management, Hospital Planning, Health Insurance, Organizational Behaviour in Healthcare industry, Human Resource Management in Hospitals and Healthcare, Hospital and Healthcare Marketing and Business Intelligence and Strategic Management in Hospital and Healthcare. In general, the course seeks "to equip students with the pre‐requisite skills that would enable them to effectively contribute to not only the organization that they would work for, but also to the healthcare industry at large." The SHSS brochure also tells us that. But, it is like scratching the surface. There are three internships, each of which lasts a period of 2 months, first one in a government hospital, second one in a Charitable trust hospital and third one in a Private hospital. They act like a core catalyst in orienting us towards the Healthcare Industry. Real learning happens on the field and TISS gives us ample opportunities to do that in a wide array of reputed hospitals of our country who readily embrace us every single year! A mandatory research project pursued under the guidance of faculty at TISS for all the 50 students of MHA-HO batch acts like a final nail in the coffin of this 98 credit course, which is maximum amongst all the other courses at TISS! We are trained to perform amidst difficult deadlines and piles of assignments and case studies keeping in mind the moral ethos and social scenario of the organization we are required to work with.
Yes, we are trained to be multitaskers, albeit our feet firmly anchored in the ground. Just like the very logo of TISS, which is a 'Tree'! TISS re-imagined our futures, so that we could contribute to the sustainable future of an organization, which would accept us as it's fortunate members. The curriculum I was exposed to earlier lacked inspiration and imagination. This drastically changed at the quaint green campus of TISS at Deonar. Here, we are taught to believe that sustainability when used as a basis of any idea can be used to initiate a constructive revolution, while exploring the new trends in healthcare. Faculty at TISS, internal and external, leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all 50 students of MHA-HO batch use their time constructively. Trust me, when I say that! I could barely find time to write this. HaHaHa..just kidding, or maybe not. You cannot blame me. There is no telling who may read this, faculty and future recruiters included. *wink, wink*
Then again, TISS surely transforms our personalities. My roommate is from Social Work. My former flatmates were from Psychology and HR respectively. I have also made several friends across different courses and, might I add, from different regions of our country and world! My background in Dentistry helped me to cope with the nuances of healthcare industry. But, I also have batch mates from diverse educational background fields like commerce and engineering. They have lent interesting perspectives to my understanding of this industry. There are also numerous extra-curricular activities and meetings that keep happening in our socially pro-active campus. But, for that I would need another 1000 words! I will be ever thankful to TISS for giving me an opportunity to be a part of this life altering experience. There is no telling where it might lead us to. You see, we don't just end up working in hospitals. Recruiters from the insurance sector, Healthcare IT, consultancies and pharmaceutical agencies also come to our campus. The variety of activities people are involved in, enriches their experience which we all would agree to be a valuable asset. Always.