Meet UNC’s MBA Class Of 2019

Jen Stutsman 

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School 

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A former political staffer turned global health manager; still a strategist and communicator

Hometown: Boulder, CO

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’ve traveled to all seven continents.

Undergraduate School and Major: 

University of Pennsylvania, B.A. in Communications and Political Science

UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, M.S.P.H. in Health Policy and Management

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Obama for America 2008 – National Advance Staff, Deputy Press Secretary

U.S. Department of Energy – Press Secretary

C3 Energy – Marketing Manager

MASS Design Group – Operations and Business Development Fellow

Maisha Meds – Managing Director

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Prior to returning to graduate school, I had the opportunity to lead Maisha Meds, a technology startup in Kenya focused on improving health care quality in private pharmacies. In two years, we grew a small pilot project into a successful market player by revising our business model, launching a new and better product, rebranding the company, and raising significant investor funding. By the time I left, my staff in Kenya had developed into a strong, locally-led team, giving me confidence I could return to the U.S. for school and the company would continue to grow and succeed.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Business school applications require you to deeply understand how getting your MBA fits into your larger professional trajectory. Because my career path has been non-linear, I often found it difficult to connect my prior experiences with a vision for what would follow business school. During that process, I found two resources were invaluable: former mentors and individuals working where I wanted to be – in global health program management.  Giving myself the time and space to explore those connections and better define my future goals enabled me to write strong, compelling essays for my MBA applications.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? UNC Kenan-Flagler and UNC’s School of Public Health have worked together to create a strong dual-degree program that is greater than the sum of its parts. The synergy between the schools was the key factor that led me to select UNC Kenan-Flagler for my MBA.

There is incredible innovation occurring right now at the intersection of business and health care. Given its focus both on technical business skills and students’ leadership qualities, I believe an MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler will allow me well to be a leader and innovation in the sector for many years to come.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school?  Through business school, I hope to identify which functional area is the best fit with my long-term career goals and professional style. After one year of business school, would be working with a company where I have the opportunity to further develop those functional capabilities – whether in consulting, supply chain management, or pharmaceutical development – while seeing opportunities for growth within the organization.