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Finding MBA healthcare opportunities in RTP

Person touching charts on a screen

What if I told you there is a multibillion dollar Fortune 500 “World’s Most Admired” health-care company co-headquartered just 20 minutes away from campus?

What if I told you it’s not GlaxoSmithKline, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina or UNC Health Care or any of their counterparts?

>> Learn more about the MBA concentration in Healthcare

If you’re scratching your head, it’s probably because you’ve only been seeing three types of health-care firms on campus:

  • Pharma
  • Payer
  • Provider

After your first year, you might add a few more contestants:

  • Pharmacy
  • Policy
  • (Non-)Profits

But you would still be missing a market which Frost & Sullivan estimates will top $60 billion in the next five years and whose major players are heavily invested in North Carolina.

When pharma needs a partner who can conduct research across six continents, they turn to this sector. When the National Football League needs to track injuries and understand key trends, they turn to this sector. And when payers need to benchmark effective care pathways, they turn to this sector.

Leading service providers in the health-care industry have evolved from providing back office statistical support to building analytics platforms, processing petabytes (1 million gigabytes) of anonymized patient data, and executing half-billion-dollar global trials. These strategic partners offer a range of integrated services to bring new efficiencies and new insights to the practice of health care. Some veterans know these vendors by their older classification as contract research organizations (CROs), and some pure CROs do still exist. After years of mergers and innovations, however, the biggest companies in this market have almost completely transformed.

As a second-year MBA student exploring local health care options, I was deeply grateful to the alumni who shared their experiences working for a wide range of these service providers. As I cross my one year anniversary of starting at QuintilesIMS, I can’t help but reflect on my own experiences to date.

Yesterday I spoke with the chief medical officer of a company fighting flesh-eating bacteria. Over the summer I signed business with a local firm that is running a groundbreaking FDA pilot study. Next week I’m showcasing a novel way to use digital health to track serious migraines occurring outside the health-care system.

That NFL work I mentioned? I sit next to the team who handles it. From these to anthrax to epilepsy to antibiotics, I have a front row seat to what’s coming next in health care. No two days are the same (not least because I work from home two to three days a week) and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you’re considering work in the health-care industry, I encourage you to go beyond the big three and learn about more non-traditional paths. And if you have any questions, please reach out! I welcome the opportunity to pay it forward.

By Samantha Cunningham Register (MBA’16), senior business development representative, real-world insights, QuintilesIMS

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