The MBA Experience

Andrew J. Rosenthal, MBA 2012

Portland, OR

Consumer Health Industry Startup

Industry Interest
Consumer Healthcare

What made you decide to focus on healthcare while pursuing your MBA?

Healthcare is a big inefficient market, where a large segment hasn't yet been transformed by technology. In consumer healthcare, changing regulations, business practices, and competitive pressures are opening up a new field where there's opportunity to both do well, and do good. I'm excited about an under-addressed segment: the health that happens between doctor visits. I feel incredibly lucky to have an opportunity to transform healthcare by focusing not just on our traditional role of "patients", but on "people."

What kind of leverage do you think having an MBA will give you in the healthcare industry?

The MBA gives a strong advantage in healthcare, especially with consumer health. So many of the business-to-business interactions involve crossing into other fields, where business models, competitive pressures, and distribution channels look nothing alike. The HBS MBA, and its classroom emphasis on generalizing learning outside of specific markets, means I can rely on a proven toolkit even in new territory. Plus, a big part of business development is understanding the perspective of potential partners, which is immensely easier through the rapid-fire case method and the constant focus on empathizing with protagonists.

Why did you choose to come to HBS for healthcare even though it doesn't have a defined "healthcare program"?

I completely embraced the generalized management approach of the HBS MBA program. I generally used classroom time to learn business skillsets and strategic frameworks, then used the rich club and extra-curricular programming as an opportunity to dive into healthcare-specific subjects. The constant stream of visiting executives and all the interaction with classmates provided a great view into what was timely and relevant in healthcare.