Program: Professional Evening MBA
Graduation: May 2006
Current title/organization: SVP Operations, Gilead Sciences
Q: How did the Jenkins MBA program prepare you for the challenges you face in your career?
A: The Jenkins MBA program was a critical part of my personal development. I earned my MBA at a time when I was ready to move from the technical side of the business to a management role. The program provided me with a well-rounded playbook for how to approach managing people and technology in high-tech environments.
Q: Tell us about that “playbook” – are there particular experiences that stand out as exemplary?
A: I benefitted from practically every class I took. From the finance, marketing and supply chain fundamentals, to the more nuanced statistics, market intelligence and digital management courses, every professor that I interacted with, every project I undertook, contributed to my development.
Q: Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education?
A: It is a practical, technology focused, modern MBA program that emphasizes industry-facing thinking.
Q: How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?
A: I joined the program as a technical analytics data scientist, and the program allowed me to get the tools to move into more general management roles; During the program I made a significant shift in my career and the tools the program allowed me to both grow professionally, as well as contribute to the role almost immediately.
Q: What did you enjoy most about your time in the Jenkins MBA program?
A: The professors, their accessibility and their appetite to contribute to collaborate post-MBA. I still have terrific relationships with academic thought leaders in the program and leverage them as I tackle next generation industry imperatives.
Q: What do you believe is your most interesting accomplishment since graduation?
A: Developing the next generation of talent- many of my direct reports are now Vice Presidents, leaders of big organizations and thought leaders in the industry. While I am very proud of some of the more operational achievements, developing talent and being trusted to lead people, has been the accomplishment I am most proud of.
Q: How does it feel to have a hand in mentoring and guiding the next generation of professionals? What excites you about the work you see NC State students doing?
A: The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) is a unique concept that I’ve been associated with for a long time. My role as part of the SCRC advisory board is to contribute to the relevancy of the current research, as well as to get students working on projects that allow them to apply cutting-edge theoretical work to practical problems.
What excites me most about the work I see NC State students doing is their ability to apply very esoteric, theoretical concepts to practical issues. I’ve been very impressed with the teams that have worked on complex problems – from developing higher order analytics tools that capture supplier risk, to applying supply chain fundamentals to design optimal decision support constructs.
We’ve hired some great talent that has contributed to the overall success of our efforts on site, and it’s just a great source of innovation for us.
Q: What advice would you give to current or prospective Jenkins MBA students, especially those considering careers in supply chain and/or biopharma?
A: This is a very exciting time for the industry and the supply chain field in general – the job descriptions of tomorrow are being written today.
New areas like digital medicine are creating opportunities to blend skill sets in analytics, biotechnology, and big data into exciting avenues to add value. Seek out uncharted territories, imagine the impossible and be curious about the unknown.