“It’s important to come in with motivation and a passion for research in a given field, but it’s alright for your interests to move around as you spend your first year on campus.”
I spent my life between the New England and Mid-Atlantic areas. In college, the majority of my time was spent studying Chemistry, as I was broadly interested in biochemistry and drug development. I realized fairly late in my junior year that I was interested in economics, but managed to complete the major. After graduation, I worked as a research assistant to Heidi Williams at the National Bureau of Economic Research for two years prior to HBS.
My research interests are motivated by my experiences studying science, working in various healthcare settings throughout college, and being exposed to a vast literature in both health economics and innovation through Profs. Jon Skinner and Doug Staiger while at Dartmouth, and Heidi Williams at the NBER, respectively.
My main research interests lie at the intersection of healthcare, pharmaceuticals, and innovation. I’m currently interested in questions surrounding pharmaceutical R&D strategy.
The Strategy Program
The Strategy unit is wonderful—it’s close knit and has all the benefits of a small group without any major costs. The small group of students is close, social, and always available to bounce ideas off of. Faculty are easily accessible, both within the unit as well as across other units at HBS, the latter being an experience that I’m coming to realize is unique to the doctoral program here at HBS relative to those of my peers at other business schools or traditional economics departments.
The HBS Experience
I’d say simultaneously the most challenging and most rewarding aspect of HBS is the entrepreneurial spirit—there’s great reward for people who come into HBS with strong motivations and an ability to take advantage of the vast resources this institution has to offer. The challenging aspect of this is that you can’t be complacent—the system forces you to be on top of your work, your relationships, and your research agenda.
I’m pursuing a career in academia, so for me, the ideal would be to be placed as an assistant professor at a business school that will support me in continuing my research agenda as well as allow me to give back through teaching and mentorship opportunities.
Advice for prospective HBS doctoral students
It’s important to come in with motivation and a passion for research in a given field, but it’s alright for your interests to move around as you spend your first year on campus—you shouldn’t feel tied down to topics in your statement of purpose if you find something else you’re passionate about.