Merging Business and Health
By Brittany Smythe
BSBA Marketing ’11
Kim Romney grew up with a passion for health and fitness and has continued to pursue her interests through her undergraduate and graduate careers. She began her undergraduate studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, but transferred to Auburn University in Alabama to complete her degree. During her undergraduate years, Romney worked as a program coordinator for a medical fitness center with an emphasis on aquatics and children’s programs.
“I ran the pool, a large summer camp, swim lessons, a kid’s gym, and handled a staff of about 30,” she says. “I was a part-time student with a full-time job. Which was really busy, but lots of fun — I was able to apply what I was learning at school to my job.”
After completing her degree in exercise science and with a minor in Spanish, Romney decided to further advance her education and training by moving west to obtain a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.
“While the program was fulfilling, after the first year I knew I wanted a stronger business background,” Romney says. “I thought the combination of an MBA and MPH would be powerful.”
Romney’s talent and knowledge in the public health field did not go unnoticed in the Eller MBA program. For her required first-year field project, her classmates elected her to lead a consulting project at the Northwest Medical Center (NMC).
“The project involves market research to identify if there is an opportunity for NMC to attract Mexican patients into their elective surgery lines,” Romney explains. “We’re meeting with hospital staff and surgeons to discuss and observe. I’ve been really impressed by the service and quality at NMC.”
Her involvement on the UA campus and in her MBA program goes beyond just the NMC project. Romney is currently working as research assistant at the Zuckerman College of Public Heath and is assisting in an exercise intervention study. In addition, she was recently selected as the MBA Student Association’s director of student activities, a role responsible for planning social events for the MBA cohorts. Romney says she is looking forward to planning tailgating events in the upcoming fall.
After graduation, Romney aims for a career combining public health and business, with an emphasis in finance or marketing. With her NMC experience, her ACSM certification as a health fitness specialist, and as a Yoga Alliance-registered yoga teacher, she is well on her way to building a resume to achieve just that.