Investing in Knowledge and Network Development

Sunday, August 2, 2015

I am what MBA Admissions Offices refer to as a “choosey, high-intensity MBA seeker.” I planned to get my MBA for five years. I studied for the GMAT for months. I made an excel spreadsheet of all the existing variables for my 10 plus potential MBA schools and created a formula that weighted each variable based on level of personal importance. I was determined to make an intentional and sound investment by choosing the best school given my preferences and financial situation. I was choosey. I only wanted to go to a school with a medical specialization and I had a strong preference for a program with a robust marketing program.

What I did not realize until late in my decision-making process and what was not on my excel spreadsheet was that certain schools have almost exclusive post-graduation MBA job placement opportunities at certain companies. Sure, if you want to work at Starbucks Corporate you can go to Boston University and fight your way to an interview OR you can go to the University of Washington, Foster School of Business and be all but guaranteed a first-round interview. MBA programs have robust relationships with a finite number of corporations. When you decide on an MBA program, you are purchasing access to that MBA program’s corporate relationships.

The medical device industry is my passion. I know the life-changing impact that can happen when patients and the right technology meet. A medical industry specialization was heavily weighted relative to other variables in my MBA decision making process. BUT a MBA degree with a medical industry specialization has little value if the MBA program does not have robust connections to the medical industry. Carlson School of Management was one of the few MBA programs with a strong medical industry specialization and even stronger internship placement rates in the healthcare industry. 

Take a look at these medical industry internship placement numbers from my class –

  • Medtronic – 5 offers
  • Boston Scientific – 3 offers
  • Coloplast – 7 offers
  • Accenture Healthcare Consulting – 3 offers
  • Chartis Healthcare Consulting – 2 offers
  • United Health Group/Optum – 6 offers
  • Healthcare Providers (hospital systems) – 3 offers

My MBA class had 29 offers from top-notch healthcare companies and my class only has about 100 students! Currently, I am completing my summer internship at Medtronic’s Boulder office working in Neuro Navigation. I know that Carlson’s medical industry specialization and strong relationship with Medtronic is the main reason I am here.