At Fuqua, students travel to a variety of US cities during our fall break to visit companies within a specific industry. These trips allow students to experience the office culture at large firms as well as pioneering startups. It’s also a great opportunity for students to check-out a city to see if it’s a place they’d like to call home one day.
As the planner for the East Coast Health Care trip, I prioritized peer input when selecting a location and companies to visit. Many selected Boston as our destination given the number of innovative and accomplished selection of healthcare organizations. Having relocated from Boston, I could use my understanding of the city’s health sector to best design our trip. To cater to the diverse interests of my HSM students, I created an itinerary that would showcase a variety of health care sectors, including pharmaceutical/biotech, hospitals, medical device and health IT. We ultimately spent 3 days in the Boston area and visited 7 companies. We also attended two evening mixers: one with the MIT Sloan Health Care Club and another with Fuqua alumni.
Our first stop was at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), where Global Executive MBA alum and Division Head of Emergency Medicine Dr. Ali Raja hosted us. We learned about the Partners Healthcare system, of which MGH is a part, and talked about trends impacting Dr. Raja’s work in the Emergency Department (ED). He took us on a tour of the ED, tying in themes from our core MBA coursework to explain the strategic approach behind the department’s operations. It was fascinating to see this from such a different lens – as student rather than patient. We all left with a much better understanding of emergency room operations and the healthcare landscape in Boston.
At Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Synthes, one of our last visits, we had a chance to test out our surgical skills. As part of our visit, our hosts invited us to experience their on-site surgical practice center, where they host renowned medical professionals to test out their products. During our demo, each of us used laparoscopic tools to extract plastic beads out of a cantaloupe. We also had a tour of the office, and lunch with Fuqua alumni who had completed the company’s medical device marketing leadership development program (MLDP).
Ultimately, the week was a great opportunity to visit companies and learn more about opportunities in the Boston health care market. In addition, it was wonderful to enjoy the city and get to know my classmates better. During one of our breaks between company visits, a few peers and I walked around Boston’s North End as part of the Freedom Trail. We even stopped for traditional Italian cuisine and cannolis on Hanover Street.
I can’t wait to see where future students decide to visit on Week in Cities!