Russell Bungay (B.Sc.’05, MBA’17)

MBA alum Russell Bungay

Director, hospital information systems, Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information

Where are you from?
I grew up in English Harbour West, a small town on the south coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Where, and in what area, did you do your undergraduate?
I completed a bachelor of science with joint majors in computer science and pure mathematics in 2005 at Memorial University, St. John’s Campus.

Why did you choose to get a MBA?
I started the MBA program primarily for career advancement, seeking a role within senior leadership in the health-care industry. In the public sector, graduate degrees, specifically, are highly sought-after and required for promotion. As a professional with experience in public and private sector, it was clear the MBA program matched my career aspirations in management and leadership.

Why did you choose Memorial for your MBA?
As an alumnus, I am proud to support Memorial University. It was the obvious choice when exploring graduate degree programs. I had a very positive experience during my undergrad and felt that Memorial would also be the right place for me to complete my graduate degree. Based on my own research, and on the advice and guidance of Dr. Gordon Cooke, it was quickly apparent that Memorial had a world-class faculty, accredited business program and flexible schedule for their graduate students. After that, the choice was easy.

How would you describe your experience as a graduate student at Memorial?
I loved my time as a graduate student at Memorial. The mix of online and in-person classroom settings was very flexible, allowing me to balance a busy career and studies at the same time. My favourite moments always occurred while engaging with the professors and classmates. Whether it was chatting about marketing with a professor; designing an interactive presentation for human resources class; or attending trivia night at Bitters, I thoroughly enjoyed the balance of rigor and play.

How well do you believe the MBA degree has prepared you for your career and what are the important characteristics of the degree that help you in your current work?
I have been working in the health-care IT industry for more than 15 years. Currently, I am the director of hospital information systems with the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information (NLCHI). In this role, I manage a cross-functional team of IT and clinical professionals to ensure successful operations of information systems during the delivery of care.

The MBA program was a requirement for my current position; however, the skills I acquired during my MBA are indispensable and have really helped me become a better leader. The knowledge I gained in leadership, business operations, labour relations and teams management directly apply to health-care IT operations and have really allowed me to be successful.

Do you have any advice for current and/or future graduate students?
I would encourage anyone thinking about completing a MBA at Memorial to do so. For me, the MBA program has advanced my career, connected me with world-class business minds, and imprinted memories that will last a lifetime.

Lightheartedly, the best practical advice I can give to future MBA graduate students is to choose good group members for your projects, complete at least one research writing course, and just enjoy every moment. I know I did!