Concentration: Pharmaceutical Management and Marketing
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m basically a Jersey native - went to Rutgers University New Brunswick for undergrad (go Scarlet Knights!) where I majored in Exercise Science and Psychology. I “stumbled upon” advertising/marketing after college and ended up loving it. Before RBS, I was at Bristol-Myers Squibb in their advertising department as well as at Digitas Health working in healthcare advertising for Pfizer and Abbvie.
What do you consider your favorite class thus far?
Hmm….I think it’s a tie between Marketing Strategy (Prof. Kalan) and Consumer Behavior (Prof. Burgess). Oh! Business Communications was fun too, so was US Healthcare! (Maybe you should ask me what my least favorite class was, it’ll be a shorter list LOL)
What would you say is the best experience you had during year one?
Connecting with like-minded, furiously ambitious people in my class. Because the full-time class is pretty small, you are able to form close-knit relationships with each person. I have met some amazing people at RBS and I can honestly say we will be friends for a very looooooooooooooooong time (You're stuck with me, Katherine Hayes!)
What do you think are the most important learning experiences you gained during year one?
Don’t stress about grades as much. B-school is very different from undergrad, wherein, you are here to accelerate your career development - always have that end goal in mind. Networking (read: schmoozing) and making meaningful connections with people that can help you grow in your career is more valuable than getting an A+ in Microeconomics. I think absorbing the right information and truly learning to enrich yourself is more important than the letter grade.
What is your internship title, and where is it taking place?
Marketing Summer Associate at Bristol-Myers Squibb
What have you gained from your internship thus far?
I have learned a couple lessons so far:
- It is not important to have all the answers but it is important to know people who do
- There is a big difference between networking and meaningful networking and it is important to understand that difference. Generally, “networking” is synonymous with having a cocktail and talking about sports but my internship has taught me that it is deeper than that. In order to make an impact on senior leaders at work, it is critical to have a set agenda of what you want to discuss and make sure to ask thought-provoking questions (i.e stuff you can’t Google)
- Yes, there is such a thing as stupid questions
What do you hope to accomplish while in your internship?
First and foremost, I want to add value to my team by delivering successfully on all of summer projects. I want my manager and team to realize that I am an asset to the team. You want to try and make yourself as indispensable as possible.
Secondly, I also want to continue to grow my network and learn more about the areas in pharma that I know nothing about. Being an intern is a huge advantage because everybody is so willing to talk to you and will make time for you - I’ve been using this opportunity to connect with senior leaders in other departments of the company such as Finance, R&D, etc. This is a good way to demonstrate your passion for the company and maximize your facetime with as many people as possible (But remember - meaningful networking)
What advice do you have for prospective or incoming students?
Invest in your career early. There is very little room to “explore” at B-school, you should really have a fairly detailed idea of what career path you want to take that way you can tailor your experiences at school and make yourself marketable for your unique set of opportunities. Coming into school, I knew I wanted to get into pharmaceutical marketing. Based on this, I registered for several of the pharma management classes at school (Yes, this is a plug for Branning’s US Healthcare class). I went to all of the pharma/healthcare focused corporate presentations and events, learned as much about the industry as I could and as a result, was able to have well-informed, meaningful conversations with industry professionals at interviews, networking events and at my internship.
What do you wish you knew before business school began?
The importance of time management. The first semester can be extremely overwhelming - you have classes, recruiting and extra-curriculars to balance. I procrastinated way too much initially and immediately regretted it (when I pulled an all-nighter for the Financial Management midterm). Use your time wisely and while it’s awesome having Fridays off (deceptively) - use them for more than sleeping in (I totally DIDN’T do that :-P)
Think of time as a set of scales with ‘Career’ on one side and ‘Classes’ on the other - sometimes, you are going to have to prioritize career if a corporate presentation and interview is coming up. Whereas, if you have already secured an internship, you may want to focus more on classes. It really just depends on the week. Get comfortable with not being able to be everywhere at once!
What made you decide to become a full-time student as opposed to part-time?
At Rutgers, being a full-time student allows you to reap the full benefits of what B-school has to offer and it is so much more than just attending class. You can attend networking events, attend career workshops on Fridays, go to Martinis in the middle of the day with your classmates (it’s always somewhere, right?). For me personally, had I been a part-time student, I would have been torn between work and school and I definitely would not have been able to form the relationships that I did with my classmates.
Anything else you would like to add?
Always remember that at the end of the day, you are getting your MBA to get a better job! Grades are important but your career is WAY more important. It is rare that you will get asked for your grades by a potential employer