Meet The Michigan Ross MBA Class of 2017

Juan Andino

Juan Andino


University of Michigan, Ross School of Business 

Hometown: Arecibo, Puerto Rico

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Michigan (Class of 2012), Cell and Molecular Biology Major. University of Michigan Medical School, MD/MBA Candidate 2017.

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation: Graduate Student, Clinical Student at University of Michigan Health System

Recalling your own experience, what advice do you have for applicants who are preparing for either the GMAT or the GRE? Reach out to your peers for advice and support. I was a student with a strong science background who had only engaged with basic math and statistics throughout medical school. I had to reach out to other MD/MBA students in order to determine what resources and strategies they found to be the most helpful. After getting a number of different recommendations, I focused on one resource that fit my scheduled study period with practice questions as the primary learning method.

One issue to look out for is the potential for conflicting advice. This is when it is important to recall what study strategies have been successful for you in the past. For example, I’ve found that I learn more efficiently through repetition and the examination of previous mistakes. Thus, I focused on resources that contained multiple practice tests and questions that could be reviewed. Everyone is different when it comes to effective study methods, so use your previous experiences to guide how you study for this test!

Based on your own selection process, what advice do you have for applicants who are trying to draw up a list of target schools to which to apply? This is very personal decision with a number of different variables at play. School rankings, proximity to friends and family, regional preferences, and competitiveness as an applicant must all be taken into account when applying. It is also important to look for the unique opportunities in the different schools that can help you achieve the goals you defined and refined throughout the application process. There is an overwhelming amount of information that is easily available on the internet but, once again, I will highlight the importance of reaching out to your peers and others who have already gone through the process of the MBA application. Schools and their admission committees will change over time, so connecting with people who have recently applied to MBA programs and learning from their experience through this process can be invaluable.

What advice do you have for applicants in actually applying to a school, writing essays, doing admission interviews, and getting recommenders to write letters on your behalf? I found it helpful to determine what my short-term and long-term goals for pursuing an MBA degree were before I began to work on my application. Once you can answer why you want an MBA, it is easier to tailor your essays to show how each individual school will allow you to work towards your specific goals. This remains important throughout the entire admission process. The MBA interviews will allow you to tell a story, to combine your past experiences with what you hope to accomplish in the future, while addressing the unique opportunities of each school. Furthermore, recommenders will need to understand your reasons for obtaining an MBA in order to write strong letters. This will allow them to highlight the qualities that make you a strong applicant while having a cohesive application that consistently reflects common themes. Thus, before starting the application process, find what is really driving you to apply to MBA programs and use that shape and mold your entire application.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? One of the most appealing aspects of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business is the leadership curriculum. The Ross Leadership Initiative has four core values as its cornerstones: empathy, drive, integrity, and courage. The four characteristics that make up the foundation of the Leadership Initiative are indispensable values for any physician to possess. Furthermore, developing my understanding of finance, management, and operations is immediately relevant to the current, but ever-changing, healthcare system. This system seeks to provide patient care, but is burdened by the growing costs and complexities of treating an increasing number of patients with multiple co-morbidities. Over the course of my career, I envision myself applying these principles in a broader context by transitioning to health systems management. The ability to incorporate clinical knowledge into the managerial approach to healthcare would provide me with a unique set of skills with the potential to merge patient advocacy with successful business strategy.

Choosing the right MBA program is a difficult decision. It requires you to find a school that will help you achieve your goals, both inside and outside the classroom. “Find the school that fits you best” is a phrase that you will hear over and over again during the interview process – and it is true. While there were many academic aspects of Ross that were very appealing, I could not ignore the supportive culture that was ever-present throughout the entire admissions process. The encouragement of current students, the admission’s committee, and alumni made it clear that joining Ross was more than embarking on a new journey, it was about joining a new family. This environment and the sense of camaraderie that is ubiquitous in the academic culture of Michigan were essential in my decision to attend the Stephen M. Ross School of Business for both personal and professional growth.

What would you ultimately like to achieve before you graduate? I hope to feel confident in both my skills as an effective communicator, whether it relates to financial matters or a patient’s health, and as future physician leader within the field of Urology. This will require the balancing of continued involvement in the clinical realm with the new experiences of the MBA program. I want to engage in a summer internship where I can gain real world experience in health system administration. Over and over again, it has been shown that the team-based approach to patient care results in better outcomes by delivering efficient and cost-effective care to patients. I hope to develop the relationships and skills necessary to help impact patient care at a systems level, while continuing on the clinical path that directly impacts patients’ lives through surgery and medicine.

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