Tyler Klenow, MBA in Healthcare Management, Class of 2019

One master’s degree was not enough for Tyler Klenow.

The prosthetist and researcher decided to earn his MBA to further advance his skills and make him more competitive. The fact that Florida Tech provided an MBA with a Specialization in Healthcare Management online meant Klenow could gain industry-specific business and leadership skills without putting his life on hold.

The soon-to-be-father is already reaping the benefits of his new credential.

“I have already begun using the knowledge I gained in the MBA program in my current managerial role and in the development of our new research program.”

We spoke with Klenow about his experience.

Q. Tell us about your background.

I am a prosthetist, meaning I make artificial (prosthetic) limbs for people. I earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University in 2012, followed by a Master of Science in Orthotics & Prosthetics in 2014. My wife and I then moved to Tampa, FL where I did my residencies at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center.

I have been with my current employer, Orthotic & Prosthetic Centers, Inc., for about two and a half years. OPC is a regional orthotic and prosthetic clinical company with 28 offices in three states. I currently run a shop for them in Port Charlotte, FL and am establishing a research program to develop new products and clinical methods to improve outcomes for patients.

I also serve as the Chairman of the Outcomes Research Committee for our professional organization, the American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. We seek to improve visibility and usability of clinical outcome measures for clinicians to aid in the implementation of evidence-based practice in our field and eventually to the transition to value-based reimbursement models. In addition, I serve on a planning committee for our trade association, the American Orthotics & Prosthetics Association.

My wife and I live in Cape Coral, FL. We originally met in high school and have been married for nine years now. She is a nurse anesthetist and works in Fort Myers. We are expecting our first child, a son, in September 2019.

Q. What were the most important factors in your decision to choose Florida Tech?

I chose Florida Tech due to the fully-online accelerated format. I wanted to complete my MBA while working full-time, and Florida Tech met those needs.

Q. How will your Florida Tech degree make a difference in your career?

The field I work in began requiring a master’s degree in 2012, so I wanted to obtain an additional degree to distinguish myself from my peers. I have always had an interest in business, which is applicable in nearly every profession and sector, so the MBA seemed like a good fit. It is also a recognizable degree with a wide range of options following graduation, both clinically and corporately.

Q. What surprised you most about taking an online program?

I underestimated the amount of writing involved in the online program, but this is the only way to supplement the online experience.

Q. What was your favorite class and why?

Organizational behavior was my favorite class because it provided insight into how people behave in an organization and why organizational decisions are made how they are. This information is immediately applicable to any job, I think.

Q. What was your most valuable takeaway from the program?

The MBA program provided me with the theoretical basis for how to learn more about business. I certainly learned a tremendous amount while in the program, especially regarding business processes, but the ability to learn more about people and how organizations behave has been the most valuable for me.

Q. What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?

The online format, more so than any other format, provides you a portal to information and learning. However, it is up to the student to access the portal and make the most of the responsibility. Like any other aspect in life, there are opportunities to shirk, but the acquisition of knowledge will be more beneficial to your career and life in the long term.

Q. Who has been your support system?

My wife and family supported me the whole time. A graduate degree consumes your life for a time and they were tolerant of that. I could not have completed the program without their operational support as well.

Q. What was the most challenging part of your student journey?

The most challenging part is time management. Some courses required 24+ hours every week between lectures, readings, and assignments. Having the dedication to do the work every day is challenging. Also, every time you think about doing something in your personal life, whether it’s family time, home projects or washing the dishes, it is always measured against your impending work. As in: “Should I be doing this or be doing school work?” It never goes away. It pays off in the end, however.

Q. Who or what inspires you to succeed?

My family inspires me to succeed. My father came from very humble beginnings and was able to make a successful life for himself. I feel that I am responsible for carrying that on by becoming successful myself. My wife also inspires me as I want to provide as good a life for her and us as possible, not just financially, but also in work/life balance.

Q. What is one fun fact about you?

I am a published author of 13 manuscripts.

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