Graduate Program in Health Management


Health Management Courses


Testimonials


Kevin Norrett, MBA 05
Lead Market Planner for GI cancers (Avastin), Market Planning Group
Genentech


What did you do before coming to Berkeley?

I spent three years in Cowen and Company's Healthcare Investment Banking Practice, most recently as the lead Associate in the San Francisco office. There, I completed 20 different transactions leading to over $5 billion in funding for biotechnology, specialty pharma and medical device companies. Prior to Cowen, I spent two years developing a master cell bank as a process development scientist at SyStemix, an early-stage stem cell therapy company.

In between my time at Cowen and Systemix, I spent two years completing a MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UCLA. In addition to teaching undergraduate biochemistry, my research focused on the identification of characterization of a brain-specific methyltransferase enzyme involved in amino acid repair. Finally, I graduated with honors from the University of California at Davis with a BS in Biological Sciences.

What did you hope to do after the MBA program?

My near-term goal was to obtain a position with a biotechnology or medical device firm in either marketing or finance.

Why did you take health care courses?

I wanted to increase my general knowledge of the healthcare system in the US. Before coming to Haas, I had strong work experience in biotechnology and finance, but I did not know much about complexity of the healthcare system.

What healthcare-related activities did you pursue during the program?

During my first year at Haas, I organized and led a biotechnology panel at the Leading Edge Technology Conference. I also attended two "Day on the Job" events at Chiron and Xenogen and the MBA/MPH Annual Alumni Meeting.

During my second year at Haas, I was elected co-president of the Berkeley BioBusiness Association (B3A), where I helped organize and run the Healthcare Firm Night as well as the B3A Annual Alumni Meeting.

Finally, I completed summer, fall and spring internships at Genentech in the Market Planning Department.

What healthcare class did you enjoy most?

One of the best classes I took at Haas was Professor Raube's Healthcare in the 21st Century. In this class, I learned everything about the healthcare system, including the history of its development, the major challenges it currently faces and who the major players are. Overall, this class provided me with a great baseline of knowledge about how the whole system is integrated. It was exactly what I was looking for in a healthcare class at Haas.

What was your internship?

I primarily focused on larger biotechnology and medical device companies such as Genentech, PDL Biopharma, Medtronic and Guidant. In addition, I was interested in corporate strategy and business development at McKesson. I was fortunate enough to have summer internship offers from all of these firms.

I also considered several other smaller biotechs where I had connections from my previous job in investment banking, but ultimately wanted to work at a large company with good infrastructure and several successful products on the market.

How did the health care courses help you succeed at your current job?

The courses provided me with a great understanding of the moving parts that make up our complex healthcare system. This allowed me to speak intelligently about the challenges a biotech company faces in launching and marketing its products effectively. In addition, it has allowed me to work more effectively with other departments such as Managed Care Marketing or Healthcare Outcomes.

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Nathan McLemore, MBA 00
Director of Business Development, Health Solutions Group
Microsoft


What did you do before coming to Berkeley?

I was a federal lobbyist specializing in healthcare and technology.

What did you hope to do after the MBA program?

I went to business school as a way to get more involved in the business side of healthcare.

Why did you take healthcare courses as part of the MBA?

Given my background in healthcare, I did not think the additional time and monetary investment to get a dual degree (MPH/MBA) made sense. However, I was very interested in focusing my MBA education on health. Because of this, ttaking courses while studying for the MBA seemed like a perfect fit.

What healthcare-related activities did you pursue during the program?

The highlights of the program for me were interacting with the Haas and School of Public Health faculty and my fellow students all of whom were actively engaged in consulting and other projects that they brought into the classroom.

What healthcare class did you enjoy most?

I particularly liked Healthcare Finance. The coursework was focused on cases with real-world data, which helped me gain a greater understanding and appreciation for not only the nomenclature and mechanics of finance in health, but also many of the real-world issues facing the industry.

What was your internship?

I conducted an internship for an early stage start-up called eScript. I chose the internship because the company was positioned right in the center of the health ecosystem-- with a value proposition for physicians, patients, pharmacies and payers. eScript was based in the Bay Area which also allowed me to continue working during my second year of business school, during which time I was able to actively work with the company founder to raise venture capital financing from Silicon Valley firms.

How did the healthcare courses help you succeed at your current job?

My Haas education provided a strong foundation in finance, health, and entrepreneurship upon which I have continued my professional development.

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Robert Ricketts, MBA 04
Practice Leader, Financial Planning and Analysis
Kaiser Permanente, Oakland


What did you do before coming to Berkeley?

My background was in business and litigation consulting. I spent five years working for Charles River Associates, focusing on financial, strategic, and statistical analyses for clients in many different industries including software, semiconductor, pharmaceuticals distribution, real estate, tropical fruit production, and oxygen sensor industries.

What did you hope to do after the MBA program?

I did not have very specific career ambitions. I entered the Berkeley MBA program knowing that I had a strong interest in technology, and that I wanted to pursue a career that would satisfy my need to deliver a significantly positive and relevant impact. As part of the MBA experience, my hope was that exposure to a range of career possibilities would help my refine my goals and interests, and Berkeley provided precisely that opportunity.

Why did you take health care courses as part of the MBA?

During my first year at Berkeley, I was consistently impressed with the caliber of students participating in the dual degree MBA/MPH program. I found their energy, dedication, and willingness to "roll up their sleeves" to understand and improve the business of healthcare extremely inspiring. In addition, while traveling over the semester break in Central America, I suffered a serious illness and experienced firsthand the crucial role that the delivery of healthcare (or absence of healthcare) has in our lives. Since I was searching for a career rich in impact and meaning, my personal experience reinforced my understanding of the opportunities, challenges, and high stakes that are inherent to the business of healthcare.

What healthcare-related activities did you pursue during the program?

I went on Haas@Work visits to McKesson, numerous recruiting events, and healthcare/biobusiness club events.

What healthcare class did you enjoy most?

Since I had minimal healthcare experience in my prior career, Dr. Kristi Raube's Healthcare in the 21st Century class served as a critical "boot camp" that allowed me to quickly understand the nuts and bolts of the healthcare industry. Without this solid and broad foundation, I am certain I would not have been as effective in my internship or my career in healthcare after graduation. While the course was perhaps the most difficult I encountered during my experience at Berkeley, it was undoubtedly the most rewarding classroom experience. This class served as an essential roadmap and outline of the key issues and drivers in the enormous, complex, and changing world of healthcare.

What was your internship?

I interned with Simpata, a small software company that provided enrollment software to health insurance plans and large employers. The experience allowed me to gain a deep understanding of the market dynamics impacting our customers (both health insurance plans and employers).

How did the health care courses help you in your current job?

Since I didn't have significant healthcare experience prior to earning my MBA at Berkeley, the courses allowed me to illustrate my genuine interest and commitment to pursuing a career in healthcare. I also have found that the alumni network of the Berkeley MBA and MPH programs within Kaiser Permanente have been a valuable resource, providing both camaraderie and mentoring throughout my career. Above all, I feel that the courses provided me a solid foundation in healthcare that has allowed me to be much more effective in my job. I was promoted three times in my first two years with the organization, and I don't believe this level of success would have been possible without the experience and knowledge I gained.

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