M.A. Graduate Discusses How His Classes Tied Directly Into His Diversity Work at UPMC Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Meet Mychael Lee
Job title: Senior Human Resources Assistant
Employer: UPMC Center for Engagement and Inclusion
Degrees earned: M.A. in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in community leadership, Point Park University, 2014 and B.S. in Health Services Administration, Slippery Rock University, 2012
Hometown: West Chester, Pa.
High school: West Chester East High School
Now living in: Sharpsburg, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Hanging out with family and friends, sports (especially football), working out, church and movies
What led you to Point Park's M.A. organizational leadership program?
I took a year off after earning my undergrad degree and was going to just work for a few years. However, after that first year, I realized I needed to return to school and get as much education as I could. A good friend of mine is a recent graduate of Point Park's M.A. organizational leadership program. He told me that the program was a real eye-opener, taught you critical thinking skills and made you think outside of the box. He highly recommended it. I was living in Baltimore after I earned my undergraduate degree. Point Park University is what brought me back to the Pittsburgh area.
How did you land your current position with UPMC's Center for Engagement and Inclusion?
During my first semester of grad school, I went to the WestPACS Job and Internship Fair and met with a UPMC recruiter from the Center for Engagement and Inclusion. I stayed in contact with this recruiter and was eventually hired as an intern for the department's summer associates program. I networked with professionals from all levels of the organization. My supervisors in the Center for Engagement and Inclusion were so impressed with my work that they extended my internship and in November, I was hired full time.
What were your favorite classes in the M.A. program and why?
My two favorite classes were "Leaders as Partners and Mentors" and "Directed Research in Organizational Leadership."
Leaders as Partners and Mentors allowed us to examine different forms of mentorship and what it means to be a mentor and how to facilitate people's growth processes. I conducted research on student-faculty mentoring and interviewed one of Point Park's campus ministers, Michael Thornhill. It was a very impactful experience.
In the course on directed research, I conducted a case study, which related directly back to the internship I was doing on why there is a need for engagement and inclusion in organizations, particularly health care. I interviewed several diversity and inclusion leaders throughout the Pittsburgh region. This really gave me the opportunity to look at how people from different backgrounds and points of view can all still push together for a common goal. My research ended up evolving into a template that can be used across various organizations to help them grow their diversity and inclusion efforts.
What are your career goals?
I want to continue my work with diversity and inclusion initiatives. My apex goal is to be a chief diversity and inclusion officer for an organization that wants to be an agent of change. I want to spread the message that we are all on this planet together and that we need to move forward to make ourselves better, our families better and our communities better. In the near future, I plan to pursue my doctoral degree. Also, I'd eventually like to take all of the experience I've gained to teach others in the classroom.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
My favorite quote is by Langston Hughes and it is: "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly." My advice for individuals who are considering advancing their education is: If you can dream it, go for it. Don't let life get in the way. You can do it. Reach for it and you'll make it happen.