Dr. Bennett Boccuzzi Discusses How His Dream Job Was Only Possible with a PhD from NCU

When you consider getting an advanced degree, or even while you’re in the middle of the program, you might wonder if all the time and expense will pay off in the end. Dr. Ben Boccuzzi, a 2014 graduate with a PhD in Business Administration with a health care administration specialty, is just one of many NCU grads whose life did a 180 degree turn after he earned his degree. The NCU blog caught up with Dr. Boccuzzi in the first week of his new job.

Congratulations on the new job! Tell us about your new position.  I just started a new position with AstraZeneca, a global biopharmaceutical company, as a medical science liaison. It is a job that I’d always considered since I was initially a critical care nurse, and then transitioned into pharmaceutical sales 25 years ago.  The only reason I was unable to make the transition is because this job requires a terminal degree (PhD, PharmD, MD, etc). So it wasn't until this past year, that I became eligible for these type of jobs.

How did you become interested in healthcare? I started my healthcare profession when I graduated from nursing school in 1979 and joined the Navy as a nurse corps officer. As I progressed up the chain of command, leadership positions were expected.  So, between my active duty career and my reserve career, advanced education was important.  I had an MA in Healthcare, but wanted the opportunity to move to the next level and set myself apart. NCU’s program allowed me to move back to an advanced clinical job with AstraZeneca and also become adjunct faculty in the healthcare management program at a local university.  All of this was possible because of my terminal degree.

How did you get involved with teaching at universities? What do you like about it? At one of my committee chair’s monthly meetings, the topic of the "Doctoral Identity" was discussed. I’d thought that someday I may want to teach, but was not thinking about becoming an adjunct professor right away.  When I saw an ad at a local university, I decided to apply and was accepted.

Why did you pick NCU for your PhD? A friend in the Navy Reserve suggested NCU.  She thought that it was interesting that I could get a PhD through a distance learning program.  I visited NCU’s website, reviewed the program and found it was a perfect fit for me.  At the time, I travelled with work while also raising my children.  My schedule was anything but predictable, so obtaining an online degree was the best option for me.

How has your life changed since earning your degree at NCU? Obtaining the adjunct faculty and AstraZeneca positions were ONLY possible because I had a PhD.  My job at AstraZeneca has provided both career and financial advancement, as well as the opportunity to work in a new field that I’d always wanted to explore.