WILLIAMSBURG — Bianca Munce was a certified substance abuse counselor and addiction specialist at The Farley Center in Williamsburg when her then-supervisor approached her about a new professional opportunity. She was a few months shy of completing her degree through William & Mary’s Part-Time MBA program, but her past clinical experience combined with her newly-acquired business acumen made her an attractive candidate for the management role. She was offered the job, and in the four years since earning her MBA, has been promoted three times.
“I would not have gotten the jobs I had if it weren’t for my MBA,” Bianca said. “By having my MBA, I was immediately on the radar as someone who could not only run a program but effectively help in expanding it.”
Bianca served as the Program Director at The Farley Center for several years before moving to the Safe Harbor Recovery Center as their new Clinical Director. In that capacity, she helped develop plans to open a Veteran’s treatment program and a partial hospitalization program in Portsmouth, the first outpatient program of its kind in the area.
More recently, she joined Riverside Behavioral Health Center as the Director of Outpatient and Addiction Services where she will assume a leadership role that leverages both her clinical skills and MBA as the organization looks to increase psychiatric and addiction treatment services, and integrate more behavioral health programs into the hospital system.
“In my experience in behavioral health, there are very few people who are leading treatment centers who have both clinical and business experience. Typically, they are either really good clinicians who get promoted and end up in leadership positions or they are really good businesspeople who don’t have a clinical background,” she explained. “When I first worked for someone who had both, I could see a huge difference it makes in an organization so having that business mindset and clinical background was really important to me.”
That reasoning is what drove Bianca to pursue an MBA at William & Mary in the first place. The native New Yorker attended Christopher Newport University as an undergraduate student and entered into William & Mary’s Master of Education in Substance Abuse and Addiction program as she gained on-the-job experience in the field. She knew that she would eventually return to school to earn a second master’s degree in business but the Part-Time MBA program accelerated her ability to do so earlier than she had anticipated.
“I knew there was more education that I would need to do in order to get my career where I wanted it to be. When I started looking at MBA programs, I preferred to go back to William & Mary since I had a really great experience there but my initial plan was to work for a few more years. Because of the Part-Time MBA, I had the ability to start a bit sooner and it propelled my career forward in a way I wasn’t expecting,” she said.
As a Mason School student, Bianca says she felt welcomed into a supportive environment which only encouraged her academic and professional success.
“What I appreciated most about the experience was that most everyone in the program was also working so we shared that commonality as we went through it together. I also really liked learning among professionals who came from different industries because I gained a lot of unique perspectives from them,” Bianca said.
Ultimately, her goal is to run a nonprofit or a treatment center one day. But in the meantime, Bianca is focused on growing in her new role with Riverside.
“I am excited about this new opportunity to work with a nonprofit and I credit going back to school so early with pushing me to be where I am,” she said. “I thought I would be in this position ten years from now, but the Part-Time MBA program at William & Mary really aided in moving my career along faster than I originally planned.”
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