Army medic sees MBA as path to dream career

By

Mary Beth Faller

Alex Nyunt is starting the full-time Master of Business Administration program at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University as a path from being a medical service corps officer in the Army to becoming a hospital administrator.

Nyunt has been in the Army for 15 years.

“I married my high school sweetheart right after we graduated, so I decided it was time to grow up and get a job,” he said.

“With its benefits like health care and housing, the Army seemed like a good way to take care of my young family.”

After completing combat medic training, Nyunt received an additional year of training to become a licensed practical nurse for the Army.

“I lived in Seoul, South Korea, for two years. I've been to Iraq twice,” he said.

“In October 2017, I led a medical relief effort to the island of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“The experience that has stuck with me most from that time is working with prisoners in Iraq in 2007.”

Nyunt answered some questions from ASU Now:

Question: Why did you decide to pursue an MBA and why did you choose ASU?

Answer: My career goal is to manage the budget of an Army hospital as its chief financial officer. The next step toward that for me, from my operational background, is to increase my knowledge and skills regarding business, finance and analytics.

I chose W. P. Carey and ASU because of its highly ranked analytics program and because its culture appealed to me during my research. Also my wife of 15 years, Caitlin Nyunt, is currently working on a graduate degree in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Alex Nyunt, left, is starting the full-time MBA program in the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. His wife, Caitlin Nyunt, is working on a master's degree in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

Q: What are you most excited to experience your first semester?

A: I'm most looking forward to interacting with students from all different backgrounds and learning their values and perspectives. It's cliché but I'm a big fan of the team concept and I know we'll be relying on each other to get through the next two years.

Q: What talents and skills are you bringing to the ASU community?

A: I believe I have a unique perspective to offer. While I don't have much in the way of "business" in my background, I do have a lot of experience leading and managing a team through adversity, as well as building and maintaining a healthy organizational culture — most recently, integrating partners from eight coalition medical teams into a tactical-operational health system in support of combat operations in Syria and western Iraq.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your MBA program?

A: I want to gain the skills necessary to prepare me to be an adaptive, innovative resource manager for Army health. I want to be able to contribute as least as much to others — to the team here — as I receive from them.

Q: What’s one interesting fact about yourself that only your friends know?

A: Caitlin and I wrote and recorded a shoegaze rock album in 2009.

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve one problem in our world, what would you choose?

A: I don't know how far $40 million would go toward this, but I would set up fully-funded health clinics in underserved areas. Even limiting them to preventive care could do a lot of good!

Q: Predictions on the final score for this year’s Territorial Cup game?

A: 27-20, Sun Devils!