On to the Next Semester
- by John Pettengil
Midterms have come and gone, leaving only circles under my eyes and mixed grades. I’ve had more than a couple nights of “there literally isn’t enough time from now until then for all I need to do,” but here I am. While I’m older (and more tired), studying and homework are familiar territory from college and high school. Employer information sessions (EISs), on the other hand, are new.
While I’m mostly pursuing health care innovation consulting, I’ve attended EISs for a number of pharma, biotech and medical device companies. I’ve managed to find a couple of companies with innovation branches (J&J and Aetna, for example), but mostly I’m just trying to learn more about these foreign areas of the health care industry.
As a “career switcher,” it’s important for me to become saturated in the language of health care, even if it means giving up my evenings to hear about programs I’m not interested in. These innovation programs, on the other hand, are invested in creating new products and services to help patients and providers alike.
I’ve also been busy working with the Wharton Health Care Club, helping them create a website for their 2013 health care business conference, “Reshaping Healthcare.” Before Wharton, I spent five years creating the user experience for large corporate websites, so this project is both familiar and foreign. Familiar because art direction and strategy come naturally to me at this point, foreign because I’ve never been a client before.
I’ve also been busy mapping out my classes for next semester and have some mixed feeling about the flexible core. I’m ecstatic about personalized classes, reflecting my interests in IT and innovation. On the other hand, I’ll be leaving my 70-person cohort behind.
I’ll run into some former cohort mates from time to time, I’m sure, but cementing these relationships is so vital I can’t leave our meetings to chance. I’m determined to spend more time developing relationships with my classmates. They’ve truly been the best part about coming here.
Editor’s note: This post first appeared on the Wharton MBA Program’s Student Diarist blog on Nov. 15, 2012.