Leadership: the Key Ingredient to Success

Toward the end of my internship, I was asked by a senior executive what I was surprised most about my summer. I paused for a long time, and finally answered: "Leadership, and how it was so front and center to my experience".

Like many new MBAs on the job, I thought my goal was to perform functionally. My expectation going in was to learn a thing or two about health care and give a stellar performance on my project, or in other words, to get a "good grade". I wanted to hone and show off my marketing skills and industry knowledge. However, at the end of the internship, I realized that leadership was in fact what was most important. And that success in a corporate environment was enabled by placing leadership at the center.
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Does School Location Affect Fuqua MBA Recruiting? Not for Pharma

A question I get asked a lot is whether Duke Fuqua's location puts students at a disadvantage when it comes to recruiting for health care. My answer is no, because Fuqua is a target school for many companies that recruit MBAs and they make an effort to come to the Duke campus. However, I did not know objectively how Fuqua compared with schools that were local to health care hubs. I took some time and got some data from LinkedIn, and used the pharma industry as an example. Surprisingly, at least for pharma, Fuqua has a stronger presence than many local schools.
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Byron Sharp's How Brands Grow

This book was given to me as a gift from a very senior leader in marketing. I was told that the book would cover things that are not taught in MBA programs. After reading the book, I must say that I agree. In my marketing classes, I was intrigued by why established brands still spent so heavily on advertising and how brands actually measured advertising effects, while not controlling for confounding variables. This book looks at empirical evidence and proposes the laws of marketing.
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Spring 2 Duke MBA: Deep Dive into Marketing Part 2 Marketing Strategy

Taking Christine Moorman's Marketing Strategy course was essential to building my skills as a business thinker. Marketing has really evolved in recent years and is being more tied closely into business strategy. Focusing on the customer, then, is the role of any good marketing strategy and is thus key to a sustainable competitive advantage for a company.
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Health Care Employment Stats for Leading MBA Programs

One helpful factor to consider when choosing which MBA program to apply to are the employment statistics. While almost all MBA programs have solid consulting and banking employment numbers, health care results are less consistent across schools.
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Should you get an MBA or an industry position?

Please note: this post was written back in 2013 when I just started my MBA. I'll update this again later as now have more insights to share as an MBA student. In addition, the original target audience for this post are scientists, although general principles will apply to all backgrounds.

With the scarcity in academic job openings, many, if not most, life sciences professionals are considering industry positions. This was definitely the prevailing sentiment at the 2013 NIH career symposium. A commonly asked question at these events is, "should I pursue an MBA to enhance my resume, or should I just try to find a job at a company?"
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Spring 2 Duke MBA: Deep Dive into Marketing Part 1 Product Management

My apologies for the lack of posts lately. I've been totally immersed in my internship at Bristol-Meyers Squibb and haven't been able to find the time to write. Thank you for everyone who had emailed me about the blog - I'm gearing up to getting back to publishing two blog posts a week. I know that many prospective students are starting to apply for Round 1 for the Class of 2017. Now that it's July, the Class of 2016 will be joining us in Durham soon as well. I hope that my perspective as a second year MBA student may help.
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