2021 Best & Brightest Online MBAs: Amy Morton-Sogi, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Isenberg)

Amy Morton-Sogi

University of Massachusetts Amherst, Isenberg Online MBA

“Passionate, purpose-driven, and devoted to building a healthcare system that provides quality, affordable care.”

Age: 37

Hometown: Kailua, Hawaii

Fun fact about yourself: When I was a law student, I played on the law school’s all-female flag football team. Although I am very petite, I played defensive back. This was the first time I ever played football (or even watched a game), so I had to start with learning the basic rules. Despite a few bumps and bruises, this was a great experience – I met other students and alumni, formed invaluable friendships, and got some exercise between classes. After over a decade, I still have my team jersey.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • University of Hawaii at Manoa, BA – Economics
  • University of Hawaii at Manoa, William S. Richardson School of Law, JD

Where are you currently working? The Queen’s Health Systems; Manager, Physician Contracts & Compensation

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Prior to working at The Queen’s Health Systems, I worked for 10 years at the Hawaii Department of Health (“DOH”). While at DOH, I led a project to streamline the organization’s contracting process; as part of this project, I implemented workflow improvements and developed a software application to generate contract documents. This application decreased the amount of time required to draft and review contracts, which resulted in faster payments to service providers and quicker implementation of public health initiatives. My work was recognized by the Governor and State CIO, who awarded me the Business Process Automation award.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? I selected the MBA program at UMass Amherst’s Isenberg School of Management because the school has an excellent reputation and offers their MBA at a lower cost than other similar universities. I was also looking for a program that offered asynchronous classes and did not require a residency; since I live in Hawaii and work full-time, it can be difficult for me to attend classes in other time zones and travel to other states. Overall, I feel I received a high quality education at an affordable price through the UMass Amherst program.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The online format brought together a diverse group of students with very different personal and professional backgrounds. This diversity brought a range of perspectives and a richness to class discussions that I don’t believe I would have received in an on-campus MBA program. I was also able to continue working full-time while attending school and fit classes around my work schedule.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? Although I did not meet face-to-face with my classmates or professors, I was able to develop relationships with them throughout my time in the MBA program. Through the use of online discussion boards and group projects, I formed lasting connections with my classmates. I am able to turn to them for career advice and guidance.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? I preferred the online format to my in-the-classroom learning experience. By bringing together students from many geographic locations and varying backgrounds, I feel there was a broader range of shared experiences and knowledge brought to the discussions. I also felt more comfortable sharing in an online environment, and I was able to work when I was most productive, which was often at night or on the weekends.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would not change the UMass Amherst MBA program. I enjoyed my experience – it was challenging, but I also learned a lot that I could immediately apply to my current job. The students and professors were supportive, and the broad range of classes gave me the tools I needed to advance my career.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? My MBA has helped me advance into a management position. The knowledge and skills I gained through the UMass Amherst MBA program have also given me the ability to think more strategically – I can better align my department’s goals with the organization’s mission, build effective teams, anticipate potential pitfalls in new initiatives, and develop workable action plans to achieve desired outcomes. Perhaps most importantly, my MBA has given me greater confidence in my decision-making abilities, which makes me a more effective leader.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: 10 – 15

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I would like to become a hospital COO. I enjoy working in a position where I can implement operational changes to improve efficiencies in our healthcare system. I was born with a heart defect that required open heart surgery, so I am very passionate about providing high-quality, affordable, patient-centered care to my local community.



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