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General Evaluation - Harvard/Columbia alum with MS and Health Angle

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Joined: 06 Dec 2016
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General Evaluation - Harvard/Columbia alum with MS and Health Angle [#permalink]

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New post 06 Dec 2016, 08:39
Hi All,

As someone who is quite a way out from applying to business school, but has a pretty good idea of what she wants - I was hoping for some general feedback about things I should be doing in the few years I have before I plan to apply - particularly with regards to MIT's unique application process and style.

General background:
Undergrad: Columbia University - B.S./B.A. in Biochemistry & Middle Eastern Politics (3.52/4)
Graduate: Harvard School of Public Health - M.S. in Health Economics (3.73/4) – courses primarily focused on economics, econometrics, biostatistics, and decision analysis modeling/probability. Also cross-registered at HBS/MIT-Sloan for a few courses during this program - Private Sector Case Studies in Healthcare and Corporate Financial Accounting. My masters thesis focused on building an econometric model to quantify the effect of impoverishment on out-of-pocket spending in developing countries.

Work Experience:
Initial background in medical research (early undergrad) but shifted to health economics after working at Pfizer, the World Health Organization, and Sanofi-Genzyme over the rest of college and graduate school. I graduated from my master’s program in May and now work for a top boutique consulting firm that specializes in forecasting, corporate strategy (M&A, Launch Planning, Product Lifecycle Management) and analytics for the biotech and biopharma industry. I'€™m planning on applying to business schools after hopefully getting promoted to the next level and also getting more involved in internal initiatives within the company.

The main passion I've cultivated outside of work includes healthcare/science in the Middle East (have organized 3 panels for the past 3 years for Harvard Arab Weekend - the largest graduate-level conference in the world focused on the Arab World, on how healthcare delivery is affected by conflict and on the resurgence of medical research in the Middle East, as well as co-founded a platform to connect scientists at Harvard from/working on studies in the region with research centers/hospitals in the Middle East. I plan to continue doing this every year as an alumna.
In graduate school, I was the VP of Finance for the Harvard Graduate Consulting Club
In undergrad, I was involved in a variety of e.c.'s and held several leadership positions (including Editor-in-Chief of the Columbia peer-reviewed Science Journal, Chair of the Global Health Committee of the American Medical Students Association, Teaching GED at Rikers Island Prison)
Continue to serve as an alumni interviewer for both Harvard and Columbia University

I have started preparing for the GMAT whenever I get down time from work, but will plan to take it when I'm comfortably scoring in a good range.
I took the GRE for admission to graduate school and got a 164/170 on both Verbal and Quant, but I really want to take the GMAT to properly demonstrate my quant skills just since my GPAs might be a bit on the lower end (and GMAT is favored more than the GRE score).

For now, I would think that the biggest things to focus on for keeping eyes on b-school applications down the road are:
--Develop solid relationships with senior management at work
--Develop contributions to internal initiatives at work (i.e. contribute to white papers – real interest in pharma/private sector involvement/pricing in healthcare in the developing world, best practice development, Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association, etc)
--Continue to develop network and activities outside of work
--Aim for a ~750 GMAT score by maximizing preparation

I would appreciate any feedback/tips in terms of heading the right direction! MIT Sloan's MBA with Healthcare Certificate program would be one of my first choices. I am really enjoying the forecasting and model building projects that I have been staffed on at work, and focusing more on finance in the MBA while building on my healthcare background would be an ideal transition from the consulting work to possibly getting into healthcare biotech equity research, or later transitioning to an international organization where private sector/business experience and perspectives can really help impact field work, especially in emerging markets. Perhaps my main concern is if my application would be treated in the lump of generalist management consulting applications or if it might be considered separately since I am at a boutique firm focused solely on one industry. There are a sizeable handful of former employees of my company who currently are attending/have attended the top business schools, so getting their insight will be important as well.

Thanks for reading such a long post! Thanks to all who have set up this online community.

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General Evaluation - Harvard/Columbia alum with MS and Health Angle

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