Category: REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles

Erin Gregory, MBA’12, Public & Nonprofit, Health Sector

October 29th, 2011 in Graduate Student Profiles, HSMP Graduate Profiles, REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles, Student Profiles

Business in Motion

Erin Gregory MBA'12Growing up in Kansas City, Erin Gregory (HSM, PNP’12) starting dancing at age five and participated in a competitive dance team from the age of seven through senior year of high school. She says business school was the last place she pictured herself, but Gregory’s dance background and love of the stage has helped her excel in the classroom. “I love giving presentations,” she says.

She does it well outside of class, too. She was chosen as the student speaker for her MBA commencement ceremony.

Gregory studied journalism and psychology at the University of Kansas, where she joined Alpha Gamma Delta and served as president of the Panhellenic Association. After college, she worked as an account coordinator and later a senior account executive at Morningstar Communications, a small public relations firm in Kansas City.

“I had clients in retail, telecom, healthcare, nonprofit, and professional services like law firms, which really gave me a broad introduction to the importance of strategic communication,” she says. As she moved up the ranks and took on increasing responsibilities, Gregory discovered an interest in the healthcare and nonprofits, so she’s pursuing certificates in health sector management and nonprofit management.

At the time she may have surprised her family and herself by enrolling in Boston University’s MBA program, but Gregory says it was the right step for her professionally. As she puts it, “No matter what role you have, you need to have an understanding of business to move up and take on leadership roles.”

She’s gained experience through a summer internship with Beacon Health Strategies and a management consulting class in which students work with a local nonprofit. “It was a full-fledged consulting engagement,” she says of the class, “everything from doing a scope of services to delivering a project plan and implementation timeline for a real client that needs your help.”

In Gregory’s case, that client was Access, a nonprofit that advises high school students on financial aid options for college. Gregory and two of her classmates worked on identifying several metrics that would measure success across all of the organization’s departments so that senior management can gauge whether the organization is on track to meet its goals. “It’s a great resume builder but it’s also a great experience,” says Gregory. “The organization has a mission that I very strongly believe in.”

Outside the classroom, she’s involved in the School’s graduate student council as VP of governance and attends as many SMG social events as she can, including Cohort Cup events. “You’re placed in one of four cohorts and we all compete throughout the year through attendance at social activities like a basketball tournament or karaoke,” she explains. Those events, including trivia nights and a Halloween party, have helped Gregory bond with classmates in a more casual setting. She says meeting second-year students during her first year offered her valuable connections and advice.

After graduation, Gregory hopes to stay in Boston and work in consulting. “I think consulting is a great opportunity to put my new MBA skills to the test,” she explains. “In the long run, I want to think of myself as the kind of person whose life is not so planned that I can’t take advantage of things that come my way.”


By Susan Johnston

Katy Perkins, MS•MBA’12, Health Sector

October 20th, 2011 in Graduate Student Profiles, HSMP Graduate Profiles, REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles, Student Profiles

Katy PerkinsAsk Katy Perkins (MS•MBA ’12) about healthcare process improvement, and her eyes light up, ready for a challenge. This petite, soft-spoken management student is a savvy network who’s not afraid to tackle complex problems. She’s working on both a Master of Science in Information Systems and an MBA in Health Sector Management and completed an internship at Children’s Hospital Boston.

Before coming to Boston University’s School of Management, she studied math and economics at Bucknell University and worked as a research coordinator and executive staff program manager for a private medical practice in San Francisco. Gaining experience on the research and management sides of healthcare helped Perkins discover her interest in process improvement, which she describes as “a way to take a complex problem and come up with an organized solution tying together lots of different aspects.”

Perkins had the chance to hone her process improvement skills in her first healthcare class, HM703 Health Sector Issues and Opportunities, where groups of students act as “consultants” to solve an assigned problem. For the semester-long project, Perkins’ group examined ways to deal with inefficiencies in an emergency room.

“We had someone from pharma, me, coming from private practice, and a third teammate who had never worked in healthcare before, so it was interesting to take all these different backgrounds and work together to find a solution where we would all move forward,” she adds.

To supplement her coursework, she worked as a process improvement intern at Children’s Hospital Boston in the department of Environmental Health and Safety, collecting and analyzing data for the annual report, among other projects. “We are doing projects to increase the safety in the hospital and working to collect data as part of those projects, to show the value added of the work that the Environmental Health and Safety Department is doing through their Annual Report,” she explains.

A self-starter who’s eager to build her professional network, Perkins has gone on dozens of informational interviews with healthcare administrators around Boston and says networking made a huge difference in her internship search. Katy has found that “when you email someone as a student and say ‘I just want to learn about what you do,’ I’ve never had anyone say no.”

She also used the Feld Career Center for resume advice and joined the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) after attending a presentation on campus. In addition to hosting events, ACHE maintains an email list and offers resources to keep members current on healthcare reform and trends in hospital management.

Though Perkins misses California, she’s enjoying the change of seasons in New England and plans to stay on the East Coast after graduation. She hopes to work in process improvement eventually become Chief Operations Officer of a hospital someday. “In the long term, managing the day-to-day operations as a COO of a hospital would give me the leverage to make larger changes and give guidance at a strategic level,” she says. With her commitment to process improvement and the education she’s receiving at BU, Perkins is well on her way.

Ajay Mehta, MBA’11

October 19th, 2011 in REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles

On the (Rail)Road to Leadershipajay-mehta1

Tall and thin, with short dark hair and dark eyes, MBA Council President Ajay Mehta’s humble demeanor is surprising at first. But the more we talk, the more I realize that it’s probably this exact characteristic that helps make him a good leader. “I want to be a good manager, and leadership goes hand in hand with management,” he says. “You can’t be a good manager without being able to convince people to follow you and work for you.”
After graduating from the University of Iowa with a BS in electrical engineering, Ajay got a job at Union Pacific Railroad in Salt Lake City as an engineering associate. Realizing he was more interested in management than science, though, he quickly moved into the position of terminal manager of signal maintenance. Soon after, his interest in leadership led to our business school, and then to the Student Council.

Ajay Mehta, MBA ’11, Boston University School of Management.

Ajay Mehta, MBA ’11, focusing in operations management and business strategy and analysis, talks about how BU’s team-oriented learning drew him to the program.

After being voted in as the first-year representative for Cohort D, Ajay helped organize MBAid, a global health club started last year at the School. The group’s first project was to raise money for Primeros Pasos Medical Clinic in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, before traveling there this past summer. The idea for the organization, whose mission is to increase the involvement of SMG students in international development projects, came from Rob Segan (MBA/MPH ’11), a fellow Cohort D student, who had worked at Primeros Pasos in 2005 and 2006.

“Ajay was essential in organizing the trip to Guatemala,” says Rob. “We really came together as a cohort when we were there, and among other factors, Ajay deserves a lot of credit in his role as cohort rep.”

“Helping people regardless of what sector you’re in is crucial,” says Ajay. “It’s an idea I want to carry throughout my career and to whatever company I work for.”

In Ajay’s field of transportation management, it’s not just a feel-good payoff either. Increasing morale by caring for your employees leads directly to cost savings—a more satisfied employee is more careful, which cuts down on workplace accidents, he says.

“Good leadership can directly affect morale,” he says. “Small things lead to bigger things, and before you know it, you’re saving your company a lot of money and increasing shareholder wealth.”

In the long term, Ajay would like to run his own transportation business. “After working at Union Pacific, I really understood how much growth potential there is in this industry, and I want to be a part of it. In the future, whether it’s high-speed rail or freight, railroads are going to be the next big thing, because it’s the most efficient and green way to move goods, compared to trucks,” he says. “In the US, the projected growth of the railroad industry in the next 30 years is tremendous compared to other industries.”

And when it gets there, Ajay will be ready to lead it.

Katie Leeman, PEMBA’11

October 9th, 2011 in REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles

Katie LeemanAccount Manager, King Fish Media, Boston

Explain how your management education defines or affects your performance.
Working in a small, entrepreneurial environment, I find myself leading projects and taking on roles I’d never be able to do in a larger environment. My main focus is bringing value to my clients by planning and building custom, integrated marketing programs across a variety of media. And, since starting as a PEMBA student, I’m not exaggerating when I say that almost every single day I am able to implement something I’m learning at school in my work, whether it be a new way to look at project profitability, a more analytical approach to tracking website user data, or a fresh approach to managing teams. I get a huge kick out of being able to work smarter every day.

Why did you choose BU School of Management?
I chose BU for a couple of very different reasons. I come from a very artistic background (my undergraduate degree is in theatre) and in my nine years of working, I’ve found that managing business is a combination of art, science, and technology. Obviously, BU stresses those points in its branding (which attracted me to the school in the first place) and in its classes, and it really works with what I believe.

I also chose BU because I knew the school was heavily focused on analytical skills. Because of my more creative background, my analytical skills are simply not as well developed. I am happy I am in a rigorously analytical business school program and I know I am already more well-rounded.

What’s been your biggest gain since coming to the School? Discuss a formative class, project, experience, or relationship with a faculty member at SMG.
I spend my free time performing as an improvisational actor. I have long had an interest in building a corporate training curriculum that integrates improv principles with pertinent business ideology. While I was taking Managing Organizations and People (OB 712) with Professor Ned Rimer, I was really inspired. It became clear to me that the central tenets of improv and business are very similar. I tested out bringing improv principles to my teamwork during the class, with great results. After the class was over, I spent the semester break devouring all kinds of books on teamwork and organizational behavior, and I am starting to develop training modules for the curriculum. I look forward to continuing to build my knowledge as I take additional OB classes.

Nicolas Lincon, PEMBA’11

October 9th, 2011 in REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles

Senior Portfolio Accountant at BNY Mellon Asset Management

Nick Lincon
My education at Boston University has improved my managerial and technical skills, giving me the confidence and ability to take on more difficult tasks, expand my areas of responsibility and gain exposure to higher levels of management at my company.  My recent career advancement is largely due to the lessons and skills I have acquired at BU.

Why did you choose BU School of Management?
I chose the BU part-time program because it was the most like a full-time program out of all of the Boston area schools. Being in a cohort has allowed me to build my networking skills, my teamwork skills, and gain exposure to several different types of personalities and professional backgrounds. The experiences I’ve gained from joining the cohort program have been the most beneficial during my tenure at Boston University.

Additionally, the Feld Career Center at BU has been a fantastic resource in helping me build my résumé as well as finding ways to improve my professional profile.  They helped me market myself in such a way that I have been able to get ahead in my career in ways I don’t think would have been possible had I not gone to BU.

Josh Sheldon, PEMBA’11

October 9th, 2011 in REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles

Executive Team Leader of Operations at Target, Watertown, MA

Josh Sheldon

Why did you choose BU School of Management?
First of all, I wanted to know that I was going to get the quality of a full-time program within the part-time program. This meant a tougher work load, but also, I believe, this will create bigger opportunities.  The second reason was the cohort program.  I believe one of the most important aspects of getting an MBA is networking and I was ecstatic to find a part-time program that focused on this.

What’s been your biggest gain since coming to the School?
My biggest gain has actually come from Organizational Behavior, the class that I had the most understanding of, but in which I received a clearer understanding of my weaknesses.  In managing a large store, I deal with a lot of people who work for me and whom I work for.  The case studies and class sharing helped to improve my understanding of navigating within the complicated world of a large organization.

Is there any BU or Boston resource you would highlight as having enhanced your SMG experience?
The BU faculty bring real life experience to the class which makes their insights all the more valuable. I’ve had a class with a CEO, a CIO, a brand manager, and a CMO as a guest speaker.

Share your thoughts on the Professional Evening MBA.
PEMBA has been a great experience for me. I’ve had the opportunity to network with impressive people throughout many industries. The one struggle has been balancing time between working 55 hours per week, having a 15 month-old daughter and giving the time and effort I would like to give to school. This has caused me to become great at managing my time.

Tyler Altrup, MBA’10

May 18th, 2010 in REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles

Tyler Altrup, MBA ‘10

Tyler Altrup, MBA ‘10

You’re pretty immersed in the School.
True. I’m a full-time student concentrating in International Management, and I work part-time as a Graduate Assistant in the Graduate Admissions Office.  This allows me to connect with prospective students and answer questions about student life, the classroom environment, and extracurricular activities. I also represent my cohort for the Cohort Cup, a series of events to foster networking between first and second year full-time students.

Why BU? 
I chose Boston University for its international opportunities and access to premier recruiting. The International Management concentration offers a series of courses that will complement my career experience and elevate my professional profile.  In addition, I’ll take advantage of the European Field Seminar this year—a two-week professional trek to Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels, and Budapest. 

What’s been your biggest gain since coming to the School?
The Integrated Project stands out.  After arriving on campus for orientation, we were quickly split into our project teams, and I had no idea how our team dynamics would play out.  I was surrounded by individuals from every possible background: New York politics, California politics, clean energy consulting, software development, and international relations. In the end, we came together, worked hard, had a blast and succeeded in earning a spot at the Best of the Best

What BU resource been a highlight?
The Graduate Financial Aid officer, Nicola Melton, has been especially helpful. As a younger candidate, financial aid was an important part of my decision to attend BU, and Nicola has made the process simple and straightforward.

Cabul Mehta, MBA/MPH’10, Health Sector

May 18th, 2010 in REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles

Cabul Mehta, MBA/MPH ’10Why did you choose BU School of Management?
I was very particular about my school selection.  I wanted to attend a business school that had faculty and classmates who would push me beyond my comfort zone and test my business acumen.  At the same time, I wanted to be surrounded by people who believe that “making a lot of money” is not the only result that could come out of good business.  I have found these two aspects and more at BU.

What’s been a major MBA take-away?
One of the aspects that separates BU’s MBA first semester from that of other MBA programs is the Integrated Project, which tasks  teams with applying the lessons learned from across their statistics, marketing, finance, accounting and organizational behavior classes, in order to increase the value of a brand in the marketplace.  I was fortunate to be on a team with members who not only had strengths in all of the above disciplines but also were effective teachers—a great attribute of students at this school.

Please tell us about your dual-degree experience.
Being a dual-degree MBA-MPH candidate has allowed me to see business innovations and public health initiatives from unique angles. If I’m at a management class and we talk about a positioning strategy to sell trial size toothpaste, I start to wonder about the potential effect this would have on dental hygiene in the population of a developing nation.  Correspondingly, when we have a discussion in my public health class on a global health initiative to distribute anti-retroviral drugs for HIV throughout a nation, I begin to contemplate the operational challenges and potential bottlenecks that may arise in such an endeavor.  The exciting challenge about going after both the MBA and MPH is trying to piece together the lessons learned from both programs to come up with comprehensive and effective solutions that help populations in both the U.S. and the developing world.

Murat de Picciotto, International MBA‘10

March 26th, 2010 in REMOVED Graduate Student Profiles

Murat de Picciotti, International MBA ’10.