Previous University: Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences
Undergraduate Degree: Pharmacy
Q: What led you to pursue a graduate education?
A: I'm a clinical pharmacist by training and completed my Pharm.D in India. I was set to go down the clinical route but moving to the U.S. changed a lot of things for me.
I had to go through the complete licensure process to become licensed in the U.S. During the process, I worked at multiple pharmacies, and that is where I was exposed to the business aspect of pharmacy. I really enjoyed the experience and decided to pursue an MBA with the hopes of entering the healthcare service or biotech industry.
After making that decision, I began seeking MBA programs that matched my career goals. I also knew I wanted to balance my professional and personal life.
Q: How did you narrow down your graduate school search?
A: I chose Northeastern for several reasons, one being the corporate residency program. I really value the experiential learning opportunities that are offered and the possibility of having real-world experience under your belt, especially in my case when making that leap from the clinical setting to business. Another reason I was drawn to the Full-Time MBA was because of the opportunity of attaining dual concentrations and specializing in those areas. Additionally, Northeastern offered me the Achievers Merit Scholarship, which is of great value in itself!
Q: What concentrations did you choose?
A: My concentrations were Healthcare Management and Leading People and Organizations. I chose Healthcare Management to better understand the practices and challenges in the U.S. healthcare industry from a strategic and financial perspective and also train my ‘clinical' mind to think ‘business'! I was drawn to Leading People and Organizations because the program sets you up to be a true leader, especially in this current global fast-paced and diverse business environment.
Q: How has your role as a parent influenced your journey at Northeastern?
A: Being a parent is a very defining part of who I am. I started my MBA journey when my daughter was one year old. I remember sitting in the Admissions office three months postpartum for my interview with the Full-Time MBA program director, Alexandra Munroe, wondering how I would make it through if I got into the program, and here I am with a 3-year-old preschooler and my MBA!
Honestly, it has been a very challenging journey especially being a parent to a little child. My husband was extremely supportive and so were my advisors, managers, and peers. I am also very grateful for the daycare teachers and assistants who took care of her while I was busy. I think it was a delicate balance, but in all, it is a very rewarding journey.
Q: How were you able to apply what you learned in the program to your corporate residency?
A: I believe you can get the basics from your coursework. The first semester, especially, gave me a foundation of different business subjects and areas that I grew into during my one-year corporate residency in two companies.
My first residency was at Fresenius Medical Care North America, in their Digital Technology and Innovation team as a Product Manager and my second corporate residency was at Biogen, in the Global Customer and Market Insights team for the therapeutic area of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Both experiences were amazing, and I gained so much from them. I am a lot more confident now that I can speak the language of business.
At Fresenius, I worked in the HealthIT space, which is a rapidly-growing industry, especially with COVID accelerating digital innovation. I was involved in business projects that helped in improving clinical outcomes in patients with renal disease. At Biogen, my role was more focused on biotech/pharmaceutical market research and competitive intelligence areas. I gained a good understanding of how the biotech commercial teams function.
Q: Now that you've graduated, what's next for you?
A: Right now, I'm in the interview process for a full-time position. I can really feel how my MBA degree has made my candidacy a lot stronger. The combination of my clinical knowledge and business skills opens a lot of doors for me, especially in the healthcare service and biotech/pharmaceutical industry. I'd like to be in a position where I can be a strong player in a team and have mentorship opportunities to guide other people.
Q: What advice would you give to prospective graduate students who are hoping to pursue an MBA?
A: D'Amore-McKim exposes its students to real-world business problems at highly reputed organizations, going beyond classroom walls. That is highly sought-after and valued in the market.
For me, the program served the purpose of pivoting and accelerating my career, which is what I was hoping for. It worked great and I highly recommend the program. The professional resources, the experience-powered learning opportunities and the adept Career Management team are all positives.
The two questions I asked myself were ‘what I was looking for from the MBA program' and ‘am I willing to work towards it at this point, whatever be the odds. I also kept a very open mind that helps me explore different opportunities.
Q: What is your biggest takeaway from your time at D'Amore-McKim?
A: It's simple; you graduate from the program with a better brand. You've now seen and dealt with real business problems and decision making, that you can talk about when you interview!
“If you're going into a new industry like I am, don't be afraid of being uncomfortable because that's a part of the process.” says Irina Zolotnitskaya, MBA'21
“I chose this program for two main reasons—the corporate residency and the university's excellent veterans' services. When I began as an undergraduate, I struggled to adjust to civilian life. The strong veteran community was, more than anything else, what got me through.” says John McGuinness, MBA‘21