The MBA Experience

Joel Vidal-Phillips, MBA 2012

Home
West Chester, PA

Background
Finance, Investment Banking and Private Equity

Industry Interest
Biotechnology/Pharmaceuticals

Given your previous experience in health care and a career goal of staying in this industry, what made you decide to pursue your MBA at HBS?

HBS for me was the perfect marriage of a general management curriculum, taught through the case method, with a potential to focus, through electives, field projects and club activities, on specific industries and professions of interest. Through my courses during my second year, I was exposed to several prominent health care figures across various areas within the industry. The Health Care Initiative and Club are also important vehicles to network and collaborate with people with similar interests and passions. All the while, the core HBS teaching method has instilled me with the confidence to tackle any new or pressing problem that I will be confronted with during my career.

What was the driving force behind your switch into the health care sector? What benefits do you see in working in the health care industry that you could not get working in other industries?

I wanted to transition away from a finance career path to taking on an operational role in health care because I felt that I ultimately would be able to have a greater impact on patients and consumers at a health care company. The diversity and growth opportunities of this evolving industry breeds not only new entrepreneurial companies and solutions, but also new roles and career opportunities for health care professionals with the passion and desire to learn and take risks. Additionally, the whole industry is working to solve the problems of health that exist today- from improving the welfare of the general population in the developed world and emerging countries to relieving the immense financial burden this industry has on the world's economies.

What advice would you give to anyone with a similar educational/employment background?

Above all, I would stress that you should not be intimidated by the lack of specific health care (scientific or non-scientific) knowledge you currently possess. Everything you need to learn can be learned, as long as you have the motivation. In looking for positions, I would look for opportunities to leverage and spin the skills and experiences you've developed to apply them to the new opportunity. I would also take the time to think about what makes you passionate and interested in health care, whether it be specific personal experiences or other intriguing aspects of the industry.