Thanks for posting great questions.
Speaking from my personal experience, I would state a residency/fellowship is far better than a traditional job. I can always get a job but can't under estimate the value of close lifetime relationships with senior officials during your residency/fellowship. The experience you get is unparallel to that of a job.
I don't believe it matters which school you attend. It's a question of perception. During my residency and at times even now, people would ask me if I went to George Washington University (GWU). I work with people from various Ivy League Colleges, Presidential appointees, as well folks who went to public schools. You still have to work hard and your career advancement is based on performance.
The last question requires an answer with “journey” in mind. Are you willing to sacrifice your health, personal and family life, stability, unfair criticism, etc? I think it’s safe to assume many CEO’s have gone through some kind of personal struggle. Some are natural born leaders but for most it’s a question of sacrifice. There is only one CEO but it takes a team to win. Often times, our academic program enforces students to become a CEO as if other positions don’t matter. It’s great to have lofty goals but serving as an advisor or as a first line supervisor is just as rewarding. Ask yourself, what and how can I add value to my organization? I have great potential to become a CEO but it’s a matter of answering the questions I have highlighted above.
Reji John, MHA, MBA
Department of Veterans Affairs (Corporate Office)
Washington DC 20420