What opportunities does the club offer for students interested in a career in healthcare?
The club is mostly geared towards helping MBAs get the best jobs possible. We run 12 programs and events to help students understand the very complex healthcare industry and provide opportunities to interact and network with members of the industry.
The annual UNC Kenan-Flagler Healthcare Conference is our largest event, with about 400 attendees annually, and is great for education and networking. The night before the conference we hold an alumni dinner, which is our biggest recruiting event. Students get fantastic access to representatives from the companies that sponsor the conference and the talented speakers on our panels.
What are the qualities of a successful leader?
UNC Kenan-Flagler students who take on leadership positions take an elected leaders class, which allows us to learn more about leadership while we are serving in our roles.
In the elected leaders class, we learned about what employees need from their bosses: compassion, stability, hope, and trust. I think those four things are essential to being a successful leader. A leader must provide a vision and make sure his or her team has the resources they need to run with it while not taking over the process.
Working with the Healthcare Club, I was sometimes surprised by the way my team put our vision into action. In fact, more often than not, my team has created something even better than I imagined when we discussed the vision initially!
What are some of the challenges business leaders face in the healthcare industry?
Change is the biggest issue in the healthcare industry. Anticipating challenges is almost impossible – there will be new ones all the time.
To work in this industry, you need to be flexible and comfortable with ambiguity. It’s a lot of fun for me because it’s extremely challenging. There are trends of consolidation, vertical integration, increased patient involvement, changing legislation and more. The industry changes every few years, so you have to be ready for that.
At UNC Kenan-Flagler, students are provided with real leadership experiences before joining the workforce. That’s been the best way to prepare myself.
What is your definition of success?
I look at success holistically. I look at my life and what I want out of it: happiness. To achieve true, deep happiness in which you feel completely fulfilled, you need to do something that you love. I love helping people, so I need to be in a job in which I get to do that.
Working in the healthcare industry gives me that happiness. I’ll get to do really meaningful work, taking complicated information and making it understandable for doctors, nurses and patients. Later in my career, I hope to lead teams that are doing this work and continue to improve as many patients’ lives as possible.
What advice would you give incoming MBA students?
When you’re applying to business school, you have to say that you know what you want to do because admissions committees need to know that you’ve thought through at least one plan. Once you start school, you are bombarded with opportunities. Start exploring your passions early on. There are a lot of ways to do that – such as through conferences and networking with current students – before you even step foot on campus. I was probably one of the most focused people in my class, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t explore. It’s part of the process.
When you find your dream job, spend some time figuring out the core requirements, and write them down. Then, when you are bombarded with all of the opportunities, events and job prospects as a student, you can keep yourself grounded as to why you did this in the first place.