Ohio University

Staying Local Series: Morgan (Spung) West, BSC '15

Staying Local Series: Morgan (Spung) West, BSC '15

Sometimes Scripps College of Communication alumni fall in love with the area so much that they decide to bloom right here by staying somewhat local. The blog post below is a Q&A with Morgan (West) Spung, who used her time at OHIO to become more culturally aware and primed to enter a variety of industries.

Hometown: Churchtown, Ohio
 
Year Graduated: 2015
 
School: School of Communication Studies
 
Major: Communication Studies
 
Current job title and location: Business decision analyst, Memorial Health System, Marietta, Ohio
 
What do you do? I currently work in the finance department at a local, non-profit organization (Memorial Health System) in Marietta, Ohio. I am a project manager for the implementation of a healthcare financial platform that is new to our organization. I also use different technologies and applications like Microsoft SQL Server and Tableau to perform Data Analytics in an effort to support executive leadership decisions.
 
What made you come to Ohio University? Were there other places you considered? I chose Ohio University because I truly fell in love with the campus and the general atmosphere of the Athens community. An added bonus was that the location was far enough away from home that I could spread my wings and be on my own, but I could still easily visit home if I wanted. I also considered Ohio State and Marietta College, but Ohio University felt most like home to me.
 
How did the Scripps College of Communication equip you with the skills you needed to succeed?
I cannot praise the Scripps College of Communication enough! I chose this path because I believe communication skills are extremely invaluable no matter what industry you pursue. I have always been a versatile person and lover of many things, so I chose Scripps because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life. This area of study provided me with many lifelong skills including cultural versatility, presentation skills, leadership skills, conflict management, event planning, communications research and statistics, and many others. By choosing the Scripps College of Communication, I have been able to experience many different career paths which ultimately lead me to earn a Master of Business Administration from Franklin University.
 
What about your experiences here was so memorable? I have so many memories from my time in Athens at Ohio University. One of my favorite memories was deciding to join the Global Leadership Center to further develop my leadership and cross-cultural skills. I was able to travel to Vietnam and Germany with a great group of driven, young professionals, and experience life from different perspectives. I had the opportunity to work with real companies as a student consultant, which prepared me greatly for my future career. I now have friends from all over the world, and I am eternally grateful for the experience.
 
Tell us about your career path. As I said before, I am a lover of many things. I have worked in two different industries thus far in my life including manufacturing and healthcare. I first started out in manufacturing, working in sales at Magnum Magnetics (Devola, Ohio). I then transitioned to Memorial Health System (Marietta, Ohio) and pursued healthcare IT and worked as a clinical informatics analyst. I helped physicians and other healthcare professionals use the EHR (Electronic Health Record) to best document their patient interactions. Later, I became a practice management supervisor. In this role, I further developed my skills from Scripps College of Communication in healthcare leadership. My oversight included seven surgeons, six mid-level providers, and approximately 20 clinic staff and managed day-to-day clinic activities for three physician clinics. I recently decided to pursue business analytics in my role as a business decision analyst, and I absolutely love my job. I never thought, as a communications major, I would end up in a role with tons of math, but here I am, and I am loving it!
 
What were some of the reasons you decided to stay local for your career? How would you advise students in choosing where they should ultimately live and work?
I decided to stay local because I love my organization and the small-town atmosphere. My husband also works locally (United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 168.) The area is affordable and a great starter town for young professionals pursuing a career path. I wanted to live in a place where the cost of living was reasonable and allowed me to develop a solid foundation for the future. We were able to buy our first home in 2017, and we absolutely love our quick, five-minute drive to town.

My advice for young professionals deciding where they should ultimately live and work is to heavily consider and map out what is important to you and discover what makes your heart happy. Find a career in a place that you love and enjoy, even if it takes a few tries. I find it helpful to write a five-year plan. Think about what you want to achieve five years from now, and write down everything you need to accomplish to get there. Stick to it.

What other advice do you have for current students? Challenge and push yourself. It is important to realize that everything in life will take effort. You will be uncomfortable at times, but that means you are growing. If you can't find a job, apply for 10 more. If you don't like where you live, move. If you want to travel the world, DO IT! You are ultimately responsible for your own happiness, so take your life and make the most of it!