About Irina

Hometown: Kerovsk, Russia
Previous Position: Simmons University
Undergraduate Degree: Biochemistry
Concentrations: Business Analytics and Marketing
Q: Why did you decide to switch careers from nursing to business, and how will the MBA program at Northeastern help you achieve your goal?

A: While I was working as a registered nurse, I decided to venture into a different field in healthcare. Though I was unsure of what field to pursue, I believed that a Bachelor's in Biochemistry would increase my options. During the process of earning my degree, I learned a lot about biotechnology, and I became interested in the business aspect of biotech companies. I chose to get an MBA to gain the business knowledge and skills that would help me navigate this new career path I was interested in. Through research, I concluded that the business analytics and marketing concentrations would help me achieve my goal. With data and technology being so prevalent in business today, I knew the ability to manipulate data to make informed business decisions would help me build a competitive professional portfolio. In addition, marketing was the perfect avenue for me to learn critical skills like conducting and analyzing market research and making data-driven decisions using those insights. These skills would be important to succeed in biotechnology.

Northeastern's reputation precedes it. I had friends who attended various programs at the university and informed me about their wonderful experiences. I also learned about the experience-driven learning opportunities Northeastern provided its MBA students through the program's corporate residency offering. I knew it would be a great way to gain tangible experience and strengthen my skillset, which will help make my career change more achievable.

Q: In what ways has your corporate residency experience helped get your closer to your new career goals?

A: For my corporate residency, I worked on the Customer and Market Insights team at Biogen, a global biotech company, for a year. It was an excellent introduction to the business side of biotech companies. My projects revolved around the development of a new Alzheimer's medication. I worked on market research and competitive intelligence tasks to understand and analyze the marketplace in order to successfully launch our product. I was very excited to see the product on the market as the first FDA-approved modifying treatment for Alzheimer's.

Once I complete the MBA program, I plan to continue my career in biotech, probably in a marketing role. I gained a lot of invaluable skills and networks during my time at Biogen. The experience will be a great addition to my professional portfolio, and I believe it is a great start to my business career.

Q: Do you have any advice for prospective students?

A: 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. There were times when I had a lot of questions and doubts, but my professors and peers provided me with the support and strength I needed to grow and succeed in this program. I've been able to develop the capabilities needed to accomplish my goals.

Keep Exploring

“No other university offered a comparable option that would enable a career-switcher like myself to gain 6 months to a year of applicable work experience while at the same time working towards the completion of an MBA,” says Adarkwa.

“After the MBA at Northeastern, you will be ready to understand business challenges in a global way and tackle them from a holistic perspective,” says Aranzazu,”the MBA will give me the tools I need in order to achieve my long-term goals.”


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