Health Systems Manager Enjoys MBA Program


Veronica Torres MartinFor the past 10 years, Veronica Torres Martin ’19 has managed Berkshire Medical Center’s (BMC) Department of Language and Translation Services in Pittsfield. Last month, she began MCLA’s Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program.

Already, in the first meeting of her upper-level management course, “I learned so many things that I can apply right now,” she said, “such as developing a mission and a vision for the Department. The class makes me think a lot about what I should be doing as a manager, and as a leader.”

Her classmates, among others, include those who also work at BMC, in a wide variety of departments. Her MCLA cohort is diverse, with students who range in age from 22 to 50. “Some members of the class have small businesses. Others work for colleges. Some are in management positions. Another manages a day care, and one used to manage a dairy farm.”

She continued, “That’s what I love about a class like this. You meet people. We talk, we network. We carpool now. It’s a good interaction. Our conversations are so engaging. Everyone has something to say, and we all have such different perspectives.”

Encouraged by her direct supervisor to obtain her MBA, “I had a lot of input from current MBA students at MCLA, who also work at the health system with me, and who speak highly about the school. That was a huge plus.”

In addition to working full time, Torres Martin is a single mother with three children.

“The way MCLA set up the program fits so well for the working person,” she said. “At the orientation, I met the professors, and everyone explained where you can find the library, bookstores, any help you may need, like with writing and even security on campus. At all levels, people introduced themselves. It was so well organized. I knew just what to expect, and we hadn’t even started classes yet.”

In addition to engaging in online discussions, she and the other members of her cohort meet every Saturday. “That’s one of the best parts,” Torres Martin said. “It’s good to network, and I like that we meet face-to-face in the classroom. I checked out other master’s programs that were all online, where students were only on their computers in their house. I think that would be lonely.”

Originally from Chile, Torres Martin was born in Germany, and also lived in Algeria for a few years as a child. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Chile, and completed a second bachelor’s degree from Smith College in Northampton, Mass.

 “I work with people from different countries who speak different languages, so I like that interaction,” she explained.  In her job at BMC, “We have the capacity to cover about 170 languages. In fact, the most spoken language is Spanish, which is about 70 percent. Russian is number two, and Chinese is number three, right now.”

Some of the interpreters on her staff at BMC are bilingual, and others are trilingual. Through managing the Languages and Translation Department, she’s learned a great deal simply by doing her job. “But I think the MBA will really help me to enhance my management and leadership skills, and also with finance and budgeting. There’s a lot I’m going to get out of this program.”