Learning to Lead

Amy Bock ’16 found herself at a crossroads. She had become a nurse to combine her dual passion for health care and helping others. But her career path had removed her from patient care to overseeing health care operations.

What would she — what could she — do next?

“It had been several years since I’ve actually taken care of patients,” Bock recalls. “Instead, I saw that I was taking care of the teams that were taking care of the patients. And I just had that moment where I said, ‘where am I going?’”

After careful reflection, Bock realized she was drawn to the idea of continuing to grow as a leader. She knew that continuing her education would help her advance.

“There were parts of being a leader, the business side, that I never had any formal training on,” she says. “I learned on the job. While I was doing a great job, I knew there were skills to obtain some other way. So, I started school shopping.”

Bock’s search brought her to Alverno, where, attracted by the weekend schedule, she enrolled in the MBA program. She immediately came to understand the power of experiential learning that was rooted in the real world.

“We just weren’t learning about accounting or economics, it was integrated learning and conceptual learning,” Bock says. “My work became my homework. I could take my work and build upon it in a deeper way through the MBA program.”

Bock adds that her education was enriched by Alverno’s cohort model, where students embark upon their scholarly journey as a team of learners who, by sharing their experience, can educate each other.

“What surprised me about the program was with the cohort, learning from my peer group,” Bock says, adding that she found immense value in “learning from the people and the different experiences they brought to the table, regardless of whether they were more entry-level or seasoned professionals.”

Three years since Bock earned an Alverno MBA, she continues to work — and grow — as a health care leader. As senior director of clinical strategy for Aurora Cancer Care, Bock oversees the health system’s 13 oncology and radiation departments throughout the Milwaukee area as well as the bone marrow transplant department at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center. In addition, Bock trains and develops employees to prepare them for future roles within the organization. She frequently leverages all that she learned at Alverno and applies it to actual work situations, from implementing a new manager program to discussing the impact of finances with doctors.

Bock takes pride in being Alverno Strong, especially in serving as a role model for her two daughters. After all, she didn’t make the journey alone.

“It wasn’t just me going back to school; my family went back to school,” she says. “So when I graduated, it was important for me that my kids see me graduate. We were all doing this together.”

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