Medical Valuation Lab Experience

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

A new kind of winter break

Over winter break, I would have loved to be at home relaxing, instead, I was in Palo Alto drinking from a fire hose in the MILI valuation lab, and I loved it. The MILI valuation lab is a hands-on in-depth experience at evaluating new medical technologies from a venture capitalist perspective. Five other students and I were put on a team and paired with an inventor who was actively looking for our advice on whether he should go to market with his idea. We were given ten days to develop a pitch and present our idea and recommendation. This was a challenge every single day that pushed my team and I to think outside the box. We spent the mornings in lecture or on site visits with nearby healthcare companies and the evenings pouring over research and trying different ideas. Our professors and peers consistently gave us advice and nudged us when might have gone astray to help us deliver a quality product. 


This kind of experience is the reason I came to the Carlson School of Management to get my MBA. Classroom learning is of course valuable, but the true transformative experiences come from experiential learning. In Palo Alto, we were able to meet industry professionals and network with healthcare companies who were able to provide perspective that a classroom could never hope to match. There was something remarkable about sequestering yourself from the normal day to day routine that adds to this kind of experience. My classmates and I were 100% focused on this project during our time there which is something that rarely can happen in a normal class schedule. 

MILI, not just for students interested in healthcare

While this experience is great for people interested in going into healthcare, it is amazing for those who aren’t as well. Project management, research methods, and team dynamics are all skill sets MBA students will need to be successful in the workforce. Furthermore, while you may be on the fence for going into healthcare, for myself, this trip solidified my decision to pursue that career path. The impact and difference someone can make in this industry is enormous and experiences like the MILI valuation lab can give insight into how your MBA can fit into that! 

By Samuel Thomas, Class of 2020