2017 MBAs To Watch: Jennifer Norenberg, Arizona State (W. P. Carey)

Jennifer Norenberg

Arizona State University, W. P. Carey School of Business

Age: 26

“I would describe myself as someone who is intelligent, driven, open, friendly and understanding.” 

Hometown: Palatine, IL

Fun fact about yourself: I love hippos!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Marquette University – B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and Psychology; Minor in Business Administration

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Health Care Futures, Business Associate

Where did you intern during the summer of 2016? Premier, Inc.; Charlotte, NC.

Where will you be working after graduation? Deloitte Advisory, Senior Consultant

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Forte Fellow, Center for Services Leadership Graduate Assistant, Health Sector Management Association (HSMA) President, 1st year MBA Association Representative

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am most proud of the work that I have accomplished in helping my fellow students learn more about healthcare and the business opportunities within the industry. Healthcare is often thought of in terms of hospitals, doctors, and pharmaceuticals. However, there is so much more to the industry. As the president of HSMA, I have had the opportunity to share my passion and love of healthcare with my peers, and have helped many of them identify their post-graduation goals.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? While working at Health Care Futures, I had the privilege of working with a small, rural hospital and an oncology practice. The job of my team was to aid in the creation of Professional Services Agreement (PSA) in which the hospital would provide the facilities, as well as bill and collect, for the oncology physicians. Not only did the PSA bring more access to oncological services in this rural community, but for the first time in years, our client (the hospital) had a positive annual profit.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite MBA professor was probably Dr. Wei Shen (Management). He taught the strategy class our first year. Wei had a contagious enthusiasm and was obviously passionate about the subject. He designed projects that revolved around companies that recruit on campus, allowing us to develop a deep understanding of the companies we were interviewing with.

What was your favorite MBA Course and what was the biggest insight you gained about business from it? My favorite MBA course is the Executive Connections course. Throughout the full-time MBA program at W. P. Carey, students are assigned an executive mentor that they meet with on a quarterly basis for coaching and to discuss any struggles the student might be facing, as well as to provide advice about navigating the world of business. Through this program — and the academic work associated with it — I have had the opportunity to learn more about myself as a person and leader. I also have had the privilege of meeting some wildly successful individuals and hope to take many of their lessons and knowledge into the business world.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose this business school for a few different reasons. When entering business school, I was interested in going into healthcare operations. Since ASU is well known for its supply chain curriculum, it seemed like a great fit. Additionally, one of ASU’s missions is to make education affordable and inclusive, which means there are a number of scholarships available, especially for graduate students. This allowed me to go to school for a fraction of what it would have cost me elsewhere. Finally, prior to graduate school, I had lived in the Midwest my entire life and I was ready for an adventure. I wanted to spend my time in b-school exploring another region of the United States and meeting new, different kinds of people.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? The people! I have met some of the most wonderful individuals while attending the MBA program at the W. P. Carey School of Business.

What was the most surprising thing about business school for you? The most surprising thing about business school for me was how team-focused it is. When entering b-school, I knew that there would be a lot of group work, but I never realized how extensive it was going to be. My teams very quickly became my mini-families.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? The best piece of advice I would give to any MBA applicant, not just those for my school, is to know your goals and remain focused. B-school is a whirlwind and it’s easy to get caught up in things – activities, companies, etc. – that are great, but don’t help you achieve your goal. You’re in school for a short time and it is important to be choosey with how you spend it.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The biggest myth about Arizona State University is that it is a huge party school. While my peers and I do have a good time every once in awhile, the graduate students are focused and the program is rigorous.

What was your biggest regret in business school? My biggest regret in business school is never participating in a case competition against other schools. My friends and I signed up for one, but something else came up. I feel like it would have been a fun time and a good way to get to know MBAs from all over the US.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? There isn’t just one person from my MBA class that I admire, but there are many qualities my classmates have that I admire. I admire my classmates who are risk-takers for knowing what they want and being ok with failing. I admire the strength of the international students who have traveled to a foreign country in order to obtain a graduate degree in their second language. I also admire my introverted peers – the ones who don’t say much, but when they do say something it impacts the entire conversation. While at W. P. Carey, I have used every opportunity to get to know each and every one of my peers. I could go on and on about why they are all great.

I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized I no longer wanted to be a dentist or clinical practitioner, but wanted to stay in the healthcare industry.”

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…still working at Health Care Futures and figuring out my next move, professionally and personally.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? If I were a dean for a day, the one thing I would change about the MBA experience is requiring every student to attend one large MBA conference. I believe these opportunities are not only great for networking, but at the industry conferences, MBA students are surrounded by other students that are interested in the same things. 

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I don’t know if I currently have an ultimate long-term professional goal, but I do know how I would like to make my mark, specifically in the healthcare industry. I am particularly passionate about mental health and currently, there is a large gap in mental services in the US health system. Ideally, someday I would like to help health systems develop and maintain mental health service lines that are profitable.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? At this point in my life, I would most want to thank my grandfather, Robert Mahr, for my success (especially in business school). My grandfather is the definition of a true entrepreneur: he is a retired veterinarian who modeled animal care and animal hospitals after human healthcare and hospitals. He was wildly successful, not just because he was an outstanding veterinarian, but he was an incredibly smart businessman. Starting at a young age, I can remember my grandfather sharing business tactics and advice, wanting to share lessons he had learned. Because of his knowledge, love, and support, I have been able to begin my career already ahead of many of my peers.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I’d like my peers to remember me as someone who is smart, approachable, and willing to help whenever I could.

Favorite book: Harry Potter

Favorite movie or television show: Friends

Favorite musical performer: Zac Brown Band

Favorite vacation spot: Dominican Republic

Hobbies? Reading, running, traveling

What made Jennifer such an invaluable addition to the class of 2017?

“From the very beginning of her MBA program, Jennifer Norenberg knew that she wanted to pursue a less traditional career path, continuing her career in the field of healthcare management. She quickly became involved in campus clubs and was selected to be the president of the ASU Health Sector Management Association. She brought speakers to campus that enhanced the knowledge of her classmates and networked with the professional coaches in our MBA Executive Connections program to broaden her knowledge and perspective of the challenges in this field. Recognizing that healthcare management companies are not usual MBA campus recruiters, Jennifer took the initiative to identify potential internship opportunities and landed a position with Premier, Inc., a healthcare improvement alliance. Her focus paid off; she has accepted an offer for the position of senior consultant with Deloitte in the Life Sciences & Healthcare advisory services group.”

Kay Keck, PhD

Director, W. P. Carey Full-time MBA



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