December 16, 2013

1st Annual Boston University Health and Life Sciences Conference

"It felt like a PROFESSIONAL conference, not a student-run event."

Those words ringing in my ears from attendees convinced me that the chairs and leadership committee of the 1st Annual Boston University Health and Life Sciences Conference had succeeded in achieving the near-impossible: success which exceeded even our own expectations. It had taken more than a year of advance preparation for the second year MBAs leading the initiative to pull together the networking, logistical, and financial deliverables necessary for this conference to succeed. That sense of boundless optimism and energy had attracted me to BU in the first place and pulled me into supporting conference preparations before I had even started classes. Despite just starting at BU, my fellow SMG team members still valued my opinions and input – pointing directly to the egalitarian environment that the school maintains.

On the long-awaited morning of the conference, the trickle of people through the door quickly swelled into a flood. The eagerness of the students was matched by the healthcare professionals as all crowded into the auditorium.

The assembly listened intently as Dr. Sachin Jain from Merck described personal life experiences in health care, both positive ones as well as instructive learning experiences. Dr. Jain was succeeded in turn by two powerhouse panels of industry leaders who discussed their direct actions implementing public health policies and responding to emerging health sector trends. When asked to identify health organizations which are well-positioned to compete in the arena of 21st Century health care reform, executives named names (Kaiser Permanente, Aetna) and gave concrete reasons for each selection – data that has served me well during the informational interview process.

Massachusetts is a nexus for health care innovation – I previously worked at Steward Health Care hospital system, a Medicare Pioneer ACO – but this type of event brought in a wider, national perspective so our students are better informed where exactly Massachusetts remains a first-mover, and where our state can compete more aggressively. The chance to engage the professional attendees directly during the panel breaks also proved to be an invaluable networking opportunity. Jeff Wetherhold from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has remained an invaluable perspective on professional development in health care service delivery since I was first introduced to him through this conference context.

In keeping with BU's motto to "Create Value for the World," the inaugural conference event was so successful that it was able to donate back an amount equal to seed capital originally contributed by the Graduate Student Council. This refund has enabled the GSC to have more funds available for other student activities and events later in the 2013-2014 academic year. The next step for HSLC will be beginning advance planning for next year's event early in the spring 2014 semester in order to build on the momentum of recent successes. The personal networking of this year's Class of 2015 MBAs could well prove critical in a larger context to the overall success of next year's conference. That is perhaps the most reliable lesson of the MBA experience: every action, especially when backed by planning, teamwork and passion, can create value that exceeds expectations.  

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Aaron Lemmon is a first year HSM MS MBA student at Boston University School of Management who also runs White Coat Checklist, a medical school admissions consulting firm. When not cracking the books at BU, Aaron volunteers on the Boston chapter board of National Society of Hispanic MBAs and the Executive Development Committee of Boston Young Healthcare Professionals in addition to serving on the board of SMG's Health Sector Management Association. A longtime Greater Boston resident, Aaron excels at hunting down affordable meal deals and whipping up homemade pizzas in his own kitchen. 

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December 5, 2013

12 Days of Finals

On the first day of finals, my GSC gave to me...

Finals period: there is no escape! Every school has one, but at Boston University SMG, we take it in stride.

In the midst of a blitz of final papers, presentations and exams, our sense of community comes out in full force.

We're led by Graduate Student Council President, Patrick Dewechter (he demos a BU-apparel Next Top Model walk-off with a fierce competitor in the first photo in this blog, photo credit to the fabulous Rachel (this post's final photo))!
Yesterday at 5pm the GSC rang the doughnut alarm, and 12 dozen delicious donuts and boxes of doughnut holes magically appeared in the grad student lounge:

In the spirit, I challenged a few of my classmates to answer this question about their finals experience: "If how you are feeling about finals right now was a type of candy, what type of candy would it be and why?"

"Sour Patch Kids - starts out sour but it ends up sweet!" -James

"I've got a different kind of finals period - all projects, no exams - so I'd be an Airhead: it's hard, but a different kind of hard!" -Emily

"I'd be Starbursts: I've got a little of all the colors flying around in my head!" - Raul

"Nerds: a combination of feeling studious, all over the place, but still contained!" - Kristen (me) 

"A bag of York Peppermint Patties (in Christmas colors), because that's what's going to get me through finals!" - Rachel (left)

"A Tootsie Pop: because you just need to get through it to the center!" -Cate

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Kristen is a 2nd year in Boston University's General MBA program. This summer, Kristen conducted a health promotion assessment for IBM employees through IBM's Global Summer Internship program. Professionally, she is interested in strategic human resource management, corporate responsibility and women's leadership development. In her free time, she serves on the Board of Directors for Girls' LEAP, a Boston-based nonprofit, cycles and practices yoga.

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December 2, 2013

A Fall Photo Stroll Through Boston

Take a moment to indulge in some of the rich visual history of Boston! Boston University's School of Management is located in the heart of Boston, which enables the student body to take advantage of the adventures Boston offers. The photos below were taken by Amanda Barry, MBA class of 2014.

Amanda Barry is a 2nd year Boston University MBA student in the Public and Nonprofit Program. This summer Amanda was a research and strategy Corporate Responsibility intern with Community Business in Hong Kong. Beyond photography, Amanda is the VP of Finance and Operations in BU's Public and Nonprofit Club, a Net Impact member, and a Collaborative Consulting Program Consultant.

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