Undergraduate University: Dickinson College
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, minor in Health Studies
Previous Graduate University: University of California, San Francisco
Previous Graduate Degree: Master's in Global Health Science
Q: Tell us about your background in public health.
A: I spent six years working within consultancy firms, business intelligence agencies, and advocacy organizations in the healthcare industry. When I first started my career, I focused on building networking platforms and educational opportunities for pharmaceutical and healthcare executives. I regularly met with senior-level and C-suite executives to discuss the future of healthcare and how the industry could be more patient-centric. This helped me stay on top of trends in healthcare and explore how stakeholders across the continuum of care can work together to improve patient care.
My passion for public health led me to apply to the D-Prize organization, which funds rising social entrepreneurs dedicated to alleviating global poverty issues. I was awarded funding from their international competition for my business plan to help women survive childbirth in low-resource settings. With this funding, I started an initiative in Nigeria to train traditional birth attendants to respond to obstetric emergencies.
I helped train the next generation of rising social entrepreneurs by serving as a teaching assistant for an undergraduate social impact course. In recognition of my work in the field, I earned the El Mundo Latino 30 under 30 award, which helps recognize some of Boston's most influential Latino leaders.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue an MBA? Why did you choose D'Amore-McKim?
A: My professional goals are to become a healthcare consultant and social entrepreneur to improve global healthcare quality. To do this, I knew I needed an MBA to gain the educational foundation and the practical skills to succeed in the business of healthcare. I hope to leverage these skills to build organizations that will ultimately positively impact healthcare and patients.
The experiential learning opportunities and the connection and value I felt throughout the interview process are ultimately why I chose D'Amore-McKim. I wanted a chance to gain professional experience in addition to learning the curriculum. I knew the experiential learning offered at Northeastern would help me grow as an individual and a professional. I also wanted to continue my global work and pursue international business, and Northeastern had two perfect concentrations for me—healthcare management and international business.
Q: Tell me about your corporate residency at a major biotech company.
A: During my corporate residency at Biogen, I worked on their global customer and market insights team, launching a new drug that received FDA approval during my first week. Being at the forefront of an organization implementing a significant change in the industry was very exciting.
I listened to interviews with patients, physicians, and caregivers to understand their challenges and identify ways to improve the patient experience. During launch strategy meetings, I gained insight into the process of competitive strategy planning while considering the needs of patients and caregivers.
My corporate residency deepened my understanding of the pharmaceutical and biotech industry while expanding my project management, communication, leadership, and delegation skills.
This experience showed me the true value of experiential learning; there's a significant difference between going to class and hearing about the passing of FDA approval versus being a part of it.
Q: Regarding your initiative in maternal health, do you have any future plans to head similar ventures?
A: Absolutely. I want to combine my healthcare, pharma, and social entrepreneurship skillsets to address global health challenges. I hope to gain funding to start a nonprofit that focuses on connecting healthcare stakeholders to improve women's health in low-resource settings.
Prior to my MBA, I didn't have the experience to understand how consultants approach helping businesses grow. I now better understand how to build business plans, which I believe will help me thrive as a social entrepreneur. I also learned how systems are created and how they function in business, how to set up a nonprofit, and how to value a company to help make strategic decisions in healthcare that will ultimately aid me in improving healthcare quality.
I want to apply what I learned from my initiative and MBA to settings worldwide and ensure that healthcare professionals are trained to respond to obstetric emergencies. I also want to establish access to resources, information, and quality healthcare so that all women are guaranteed safe labor and delivery and postpartum.
Q: What advice would you share with future students?
A: My advice would be to remember what you have to offer. At the risk of sounding cliché, there's only one of you in this world. If you are passionate about a certain field and believe that the experience gained through your MBA will bring you closer to realizing your goals, take the power of now and apply.
“When I did my residency in finance, I was surprised by how much I liked the field…As a result of that experience, I have accepted a full-time job in finance.” says Leah Riley, MBA'20
“Work consistently towards achieving the goals that you set for yourself. Sometimes you'll feel lost, but you have to believe in yourself. You need to realize that if you've made it to Northeastern University, you definitely have what it takes to succeed in business.” says Sanjay Lote, MBA'21
“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