Valerie Walker ('09) | College of Business Administration
from Sulphur Springs, Texas
With baby boomers reaching an age that many need home health care, senior marketing major Valerie Walker saw the opportunity for a career.
The management techniques I learned in different classes prepared me for what I would see at Encompass.
Valerie spent last summer in Dallas working with Encompass Home Health, a Medicare-certified agency that serves Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico. She shadowed various aspects of the business, used its database to create reports analyzing productivity, and rode with marketers calling on doctors, social workers, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She also helped create the company-wide newsletter and made Secret Shopper calls to various branches as a means of evaluating customer service.
Her internship is over, but Valerie is still working part time for Encompass while finishing her senior year at ACU. Now her job involves recruiting nurses for the home health agency.
The internship attracted Valerie because she saw its potential. "All the baby boomers are about to retire, and many will need the services of home health," she said. "It's a growing industry. I figured that would provide the best means for a future with the company."
Managing employees is a major challenge for home health agencies, so Valerie's classes at ACU have been invaluable. "The nurses don't come in to the office, and so it's difficult for the directors of nurses to find effective ways to manage them - especially when they don't have management experience themselves; they're strictly clinical," she explained. "The management techniques I learned in different classes prepared me for what I would see at Encompass."
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