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Strategy in Cancer Care:  SE Summer Fellow Tricia Peralta (MBA 2024)

By: Tricia Peralta 27 Jun 2023

The HBS Summer Fellows Program enables students to apply their classroom training as they explore career opportunities in roles or regions where compensation is generally lower than the traditional MBA level. This summer, we are connecting with some of our 75 Social Enterprise Summer Fellows, who are working around the world to develop skills and knowledge while having significant responsibility and high impact.

What are you working on this summer?

This summer, I’m working at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (here in Boston!). Dana-Farber is one of the top cancer centers in the world, providing the best care to cancer patients and at the same time researching tomorrow’s cures. (Fun Fact: Dana Farber researchers have contributed to the development of almost half of the cancer drugs recently approved by the FDA). I’m in their Strategy and Organizational Effectiveness team, which leads high priority internal consulting engagement for the institute and helps determine their strategy moving forward (on both the research and clinical side). 

Why did you choose this internship for the summer?

As someone who wants to dedicate my life to cancer patients, working at a world-class institution like Dana-Farber feels like the right step to truly being able to understand the nuances of caring for people with cancer, and seeing the challenges firsthand from an institution dedicated to this mission. Moreover, given my long-term goal of improving access and quality of cancer care in emerging markets, like my home of the Philippines, I want to see what best-in-class looks like in terms of managing care and get excited about what cutting-edge research in the space looks like. 

What are your goals for this summer?  

It’s my hope that this summer will provide an opportunity for me to really test the hypothesis that I want to work in cancer care and at a healthcare provider. Moreover, I am excited to make connections with and learn from some of the greatest minds within this space, as they navigate the complex challenges of cancer care, and as they identify and develop innovations that will push the boundaries on what we know today. I also hope that in some shape or form, I can contribute to Dana Farber’s mission (and growth) and make some sort of positive impact. I feel extremely lucky and grateful for this opportunity and hope I can make the most of it. 

How has your MBA skillset prepared you to be successful in this role? 

The case method taught me how to ask questions, absorb information on industries, terms, and problems I know nothing about, and to always have a viewpoint. That is especially important in this role, where it’s important to project confidence and where you’re expected to contribute off the bat and just jump right in. Moreover, it’s so interesting to realize that random case facts and comments from class end up being relevant in discussions we have. More than hard skills, I came away from my first year with way more insights and knowledge thanks to the cases we read and the perspectives my section mates made in class --- and that has made my job infinitely easier. 

How has the summer influenced your thinking on future involvement in social enterprise?

It’s quite early, but so far this has affirmed my commitment to being in healthcare and focusing on improving the lives of cancer patients. What that journey will look like over the next couple of years is still TBD, but I am eager to take what I have learned this summer to whatever comes next. 

How can someone learn more about your organization?

Website: https://www.dana-farber.org/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/danafarber