Transfer student lands his dream job

Bret Stevens’ (BS ’14) higher education journey was a bit unique compared to that of most college students, but it has certainly paid off. While switching majors after a few years was unorthodox, in doing so, he found a rewarding career and his true passion.

When Stevens began his higher education journey, he was enrolled in a biology/physician assistant program at the University of Detroit Mercy. But after a few years, he realized that the clinical aspect of health care wasn’t for him and that he had a passion for the administrative side.

This realization prompted him to begin the tedious task of researching and applying to universities that would be most accepting of his transfer credits. He’d never heard of Davenport University when it was recommended by a friend, but with nothing to lose, he applied.

He soon realized that Davenport had a lot to offer, including top-notch programs; generous scholarships; a mix of in-person, online, and hybrid classes; and the ability to choose the format that fit his busy schedule.

He was pleasantly surprised with the individualized support he received from his Davenport admissions counselor, who recommended scholarships to make college more feasible and made transferring his credits as painless as possible. As a result, he said he never felt lost in the mass of transfer students.

He was even more surprised to learn that he’d be able to transfer far more credits than he’d expected and that he would earn his bachelor’s degree in health services administration much sooner than anticipated.

At this point, Stevens knew he wanted to continue his educational journey at Davenport. An added bonus was that its Warren campus was just a short commute from his home.

According to Stevens, some may think it’s necessary to attend a university’s main campus to benefit from all it has to offer, but he found the opposite to be true of Davenport and its Warren campus. He said he felt supported by the staff and faculty and the university as a whole for several reasons.

The individualized support he received from Kim Corsi, campus associate department chair for Allied Health, is something he’s especially thankful for. He credits her for being a guiding light during his time at Davenport and said she continues to be a great resource and advocate.

He found Davenport’s small class sizes and different learning formats extremely beneficial but says the most notable difference when he transferred to Davenport was how in tune the professors were with the real world and how accessible they were.

“They didn’t just teach the basic principles and stop there,” said Stevens. “Lectures, projects, papers and assignments were rooted in applicable knowledge so we’d be ready to hit the ground running after graduation. They also made themselves available to their students and encouraged us to contact them if we needed help.”

While searching for an internship Stevens decided to take one professor up on that offer. He reached out to his former health care finance professor, who worked at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, to see if he had any internship openings. Although the professor had never had an intern before, he worked with Stevens to create a position and a project.

As a behavioral health administration and finance intern, Stevens assisted the director of finance and performed a bi-weekly salary analysis of all hourly employees to monitor the financial status of all departments.

Toward the end of his internship, a member of Henry Ford’s behavioral health administration team encouraged him to apply for an open medical education accreditation coordinator position. Much to his surprise, he was granted an interview and landed the job!

He went on to serve Henry Ford Hospital in that capacity for three years and then transitioned to the role of graduate medical education manager.

In 2019 Stevens made another career change, accepting a position as director of medical education/associate designated institutional official at McLaren Oakland in Pontiac. In this position, Stevens is responsible for overseeing residency and fellowship programs, providing oversight for medical education and training, recruiting and managing training program leadership, quality improvement and more.

His role at McLaren Oakland is one he is extremely passionate about.

“Working for a smaller hospital in a tight-knit community allows me to be involved in many different ways,” Stevens said. “Every day brings about something new, and I love that I get to work closely with others who work hard every day to provide the best care for our patients.”

For Stevens, what he enjoys most is the personal aspect – helping medical students, residents, and fellows succeed and helping them grow personally and professionally.

Stevens’ hard work and passion for his job have not gone unnoticed, especially by McLaren’s Chief Academic Officer and a colleague who nominated him for the prestigious Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (AGME) Institutional Coordinator Excellence Award.

The national award recognizes institutional coordinators who demonstrate in-depth knowledge of graduate medical education and skillfully manage the multiple roles of administrator, counselor, enforcer, coordinator, organizer and scheduler.

In the nomination letter, Stevens was described as a master facilitator, a transformational thinker and a kind, thoughtful human who continually advocates for medical education.

The nomination and win came as a complete shock to Stevens.

“This is the highest award in my field,” Stevens said. “I felt unworthy, especially to have won so early in my career. The award gave me a sense of pride for both me and those that I have worked alongside over the years.”

In Stevens’ case, changing majors turned out to be a blessing in disguise because he landed exactly where he was meant to be – in a job he is passionate about and making a difference every day.

Stevens looks back fondly at his time at Davenport and continues to stay connected to the university by serving on the Health Services Administration Advisory Board as an alumni representative and the College of Health Professions Advisory Board.

To learn how students can effortlessly transition to Davenport, visit:


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