Preparing for a Career in Consumer Health

Elena Avramov (MBA 2013)
Home Town
Chicago, IL USA
“The second-year classes allowed me to delve deeper into health care and get to know several of the health care-focused faculty members.”

What made you decide to go into your sector of interest?

I actually came into HBS thinking I would pursue a career in biopharma. During my first year, as I learned more about the industry through club events, read more thought papers on the future of the industry, and took classes such as Marketing and Entrepreneurship, I became very interested in consumer health care. I realized that this sector combines my passion for health care with my belief that individuals need to be empowered to take control of their own health to a much greater extent. I enjoyed thinking about how companies could borrow best practices from other industries to help improve the health care industry, and I wanted to sit at that intersection.

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?

I decided to come to HBS after 6 years of working because I needed to gain a broader understanding of business and to build out my network. The first-year curriculum provided me with a thorough understanding of all of the major disciplines within business. Many of these courses employed health care cases, and it was great to apply the learnings to my industry of focus. The second-year classes allowed me to delve deeper into health care and get to know several of the health care-focused faculty members. During this last year, I have also improved my soft skills around leading authentically and building purpose-driven organizations. These skills are critical in any industry, and HBS does an amazing job of teaching them.

How well do you feel HBS has prepared you for the health care industry?

HBS has most certainly prepared me to succeed in the health care industry. I now understand the forces driving the industry, as well as the many challenges and roadblocks to innovating. This perspective has been very valuable in the startup world- a space where full industry understanding is still lacking. By serving as the co-chair for the student-run health care conference, I had the incredible opportunity to lead my peers, grow the conference, and meet many of the leaders in the industry. Finally, HBS has inspired me to want more than just a status-quo career, and I hope to make a significant impact on the industry one day!

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