Kelley graduate business education offers dietitians new career lens

Sometimes you can be in the correct professional industry—but not in the right job for your strengths and interests.

Johanna Rohler, MBA’19, had become a registered dietitian after her undergraduate studies, and although she was happy in her choice of pursuing nutritional science, she wanted a role that involved strategy and leadership. She considered earning a doctorate or master’s degree in healthcare and, ultimately, decided to pursue a graduate business education at the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI.

“I don’t think it was ever a degree I was seeking; it was an outcome,” said Johanna. “Ever since I was a child, I’ve always been a leader, always able to unify people. One of the most rewarding things for me is to equip others with the skills to grow and succeed. I sought greater leadership opportunity.”

Johanna pursued one of several graduate business offerings available at Kelley, the Evening MBA Program, which now offers a Graduate Certificate in Medical Management specifically for non-physician healthcare professionals. Johanna worked as a clinical dietitian by day, while attending classes in the evening.

“I’ve always been very practical and pragmatic. I approach things from a business standpoint. I was looking at graduate programs that were academically rigorous because I wanted to gain excellent training, and I also wanted a school that would be a good value for my money,” she said. “The Kelley School of Business came out on top. Kelley is both the greatest value and the most well-regarded option in Indianapolis.”

As we think about where healthcare is and where it’s going... It will be led by people who are trained to consider healthcare through a business lens while simultaneously having compassion and the clinical understanding of what quality care needs to look like.

Johanna Rohler, MBA’19

Chrissy Arsenault, MBA’19, is another registered dietitian who pursued a Kelley graduate degree for greater career options. She says the lessons she gained in business helped her create change and provide leadership in environments where change was often slow or resisted.

“When I was working as a dietitian, a typical response to making improvements is, ‘That’s how it’s worked for the last six years; why would we change it?’ In Kelley’s program, people don’t have that mindset. They have a challenger mindset to improve the business and create value,” said Chrissy.

She says the program also changed who she is as a person and as someone who will lead healthcare.

“I began the program fairly timid because I was self-conscious as a woman leader. I felt like I didn’t have the experience to ask questions or make recommendations,” she said. “But Kelley professors and my classmates helped me ask the right questions, challenge what’s normally accepted and think of creative solutions outside the box. These traits helped me right away. Now, I approach meetings with fresh ideas and greater confidence in workplace conversations.”

Kelley professors and my classmates helped me ask the right questions, challenge what’s normally accepted and think of creative solutions outside the box. Now, I approach meetings with fresh ideas and greater confidence in workplace conversations.

Chrissy Arsenault, MBA’19