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Sunni Hemingsen posing for a photo outside of the Mayo Clinic.

From Classroom to Mayo Clinic

Sunni Hemingsen ’18 has spent ten years working in health care and holds a senior-level communications position at Mayo Clinic. While enjoying a great career so far, she wanted a better grasp of communications theory within a health care framework. She chose the Health Care Communication program at St. Thomas as a way to accelerate and expand her knowledge.

Hemingsen first learned of the program through the Minnesota Health Strategy and Communications Network. She selected the program based on the coursework and the blended, one-year format.

“The model worked great for me, my family and my full-time career,” she said. “I liked meeting people in-person to build a rapport, and the online work gave me flexibility to manage my schedule, travel and complete the work at my own pace.”

A company leader at Mayo Clinic recently invited her to provide some perspective on survey questions. Hemingsen used her experience in the Communications Research class to suggest how they could reframe the questions.

Her perspectives of leadership management have also shifted. Now when she’s in a meeting or working on a strategic planning project, she has better context for what organizational leaders might be thinking operationally. “That’s helped with my communication recommendations,” she said.

Hemingsen has also come away with a much broader awareness of health care in general. “Prior to the program I had no knowledge of devices or pharmaceuticals. Through case study discussions in class, I now have a much broader awareness of these areas.” 

Fresh out of St. Thomas, Hemingsen is already looking ahead.

“A master's degree isn't required for my current role but does prepare me for the future. I better understand the context of situations for which I provide communications counsel. And I feel better positioned for leadership roles within communications and beyond.”