Bridgette Grobe '18
Each year during Homecoming week, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) honors alumni from around the globe who have shaped their industries and strengthened the University community. On September 29, UMAA celebrated nine alumni award recipients, including Bridgette Grobe, ’18, who was chosen for the inaugural On the Rise award. This award honors a recent graduate who demonstrates promising contributions to their career, shows a spirit of service and commitment to their community, and understands the value of a relationship with their alma mater.
Grobe, it seems, has not missed a beat when it comes to pouring her time and talents into the Health Services Management (HSM) degree program, the College of Continuing and Professional Studies (CCAPS), and the University.
In their nomination letters, Director of Engagement and External Relations Courtney Barrette ’05, Senior Academic Advisor for HSM Alissa Bigelow, MA '13, and Interim Associate Director of Student Career Development Elizabeth Hruska '00, MA '03, detailed the significant contributions Grobe has made each year since earning her degree in 2018.
As chair of the HSM Alumni Network Committee, Grobe is considered the primary reason the Network has been so successful. This includes working to ensure alumni and students remained engaged during COVID-19.
Grobe's creativity and communication skills have also been put to use in launching the HSM Alumni Network website and growing the membership of the Network’s LinkedIn page, which now boasts more than 400 members.
No question, Grobe “is an extremely positive person and has been able to create and infuse her passion for the University into the close-knit culture between the HSM alumni, students, and faculty working to build this network.”
Despite being new to the industry and work life, Grobe has worked tirelessly to engage a traditionally younger, as well as a highly diverse, alumni population. For three years and counting, she has shared her knowledge and expertise of the health care industry with current students as a member of the CCAPS Mentor Program. She even stepped up to mentor two students in 2021, when there was a shortage of mentors with health care experience. That same year, Grobe initiated a HSM Career Fair prep workshop and networking event for students and alumni.
In addition to her volunteer commitment as the Chair of the HSM Network Committee, Grobe is involved with the UMAA Student and Recent Alumni Council. As an alumna of the University’s Swimming and Diving Athletics Program, she has been a Women Invested in Leadership and Learning (WILL) Mentor in the Athletics department since 2019.
No question, Grobe “is an extremely positive person and has been able to create and infuse her passion for the University into the close-knit culture between the HSM alumni, students, and faculty working to build this network,” says Barrette. "I have been able to see firsthand her leadership approach during meetings with alumni, the Network, and during programs and events… Her facilitation skills are a balance of grace and inclusivity, resulting in connection and productivity."
What does this award mean to you?
I know I wouldn’t have received this award without the support from my mentors, coaches, family, and University of Minnesota leaders. They all poured into me in order to teach me the skills I needed, to challenge me to push further, and to encourage me when life was hard.
That being said, much of what I focused on through my volunteer efforts with the University was offering to others what my support system offered me. For example, I have mentored students, and the HSM Alumni Network Committee has hosted a prep event for virtual career fairs and how to find a job in a digital world. To me, this award recognizes the value of paying it forward and giving back.
What advice do you have for someone who is in their first year of the HSM program?
I have two pieces of advice for anyone who is new (or not new) to HSM:
Take the time to build relationships with your classmates and professors. My understanding of how our health care system operates has come from speaking with colleagues who work in different areas of health care. For example, within our HSM Alumni Network committee, we have individuals who have worked in the areas of health insurance, electronic medical records, pharmacy, government, revenue cycle, hospital, and medical device settings. Each person has a unique perspective to bring and I’ve learned a lot through them.
"Comparison is the thief of joy. You waste time when you compare yourself to others. Instead, celebrate the success of others and stay focused on your own path to achieve your goals. You will achieve more and be happier."
Comparison is the thief of joy. You waste time when you compare yourself to others. Instead, celebrate the success of others and stay focused on your own path to achieve your goals. You will achieve more and be happier.
What's next for Bridgette Grobe? What do the next five years look like?
My biggest focus is to continue to grow my health care and business acumen as well as my leadership skills. I’m blessed to work for a company that will train me in all three areas. My plan is to continue to advance in my knowledge and skills via job experience… as well as via continuing education.
Photos: Rebecca Slater
Learn more about the University of Minnesota Alumni Association Awards.