2018 MBAs To Watch: Burcu Aydin, Babson College (F.W. Olin)

Burcu Aydin

F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College

“Collaborative, entrepreneur, driven, problem solver, and passionate about patient health.”

Age: 33

Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey

Fun fact about yourself: Due to my parents’ job, I moved around Turkey for most of my childhood. I lived in 7 different cities and 10 different houses, so I was always the new girl in the school.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Yeditepe University, Faculty of Dentistry – DMD

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? DEB Consulting – Healthcare Consultant

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Boston, MA – Managed Markets – Operations, Pricing & Analytics

Where will you be working after graduation? Vertex Pharmaceuticals – Manager, Commercial

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Awarded Babson MBA Scholarship
  • Awarded Babson Graduate Assistantship (GA)- Working as a GA in Babson’s Entrepreneurship division with Professor Philip Kim.
  • Doing research on Healthcare and Digital Innovations with Professor Ruben Mancha, who is an Assistant Professor of Information Systems at Babson.
  • Mentoring Babson students with an interest in Life Sciences & Healthcare.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I am proud of continuing my internship at Vertex throughout my second year while still being a full-time student at Babson. The experience that I have gained throughout the whole year at Vertex has been irreplaceable. I’ve worked with the operations, pricing and analytics team and have been involved in analytics projects focusing on payers and specialty pharmacies. It’s genuinely great to be involved in projects that will affect the access of our treatments for our patients.

As a former dentist, interning for a patient-centric company was important to me and a company like Vertex, specializing in rare diseases, has been the perfect place for me to use my medical and MBA degree to serve patient needs. I am proud to be a part of and continue to work with Vertex.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I co-founded a women’s health clinic with my sister. It was Turkey’s first Integrative Women’s Health Clinic that addressed all aspects of a patient’s health. We let Turkish women have more access to broad services in a one-stop shop. To build our patient base, I organized open information sessions with our patients. I also co-hosted a TV show on Turkey’s national health channel, and wrote articles for newspapers to acquire brand recognition and patient loyalty for the clinic. I am most proud of this achievement because my sister and I had never run our own clinic before, yet through our initiatives, we built a strong patient base and expanded our approach to multiple clinics. Most importantly, we became a catalyst for innovation and brought better quality care to more patients.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor is Ruben Mancha as he taught Global Connections Through Technology during my first year. He has a tremendous passion for teaching and he always has the Midas touch for students to help them to bring out the best in them. He is a great mentor who supports you and provides creative ideas that you might never have thought of before. I have always believed in mentorship as mentors help people to learn and grow by sharing their knowledge and wisdom. I am extremely grateful for his guidance and hope that I will be fortunate enough to have several more mentors in my life like Professor Mancha.

What was your favorite MBA Course My favorite course at Babson was Managing Talent: Your Own & Others with Professor Keith Rollag. This class focused on talent management and creating a personal development plan. I previously thought that building hard business skills was the most important part of an MBA program. After taking this course, I now understand that beyond finance and strategy skills, business training must also be about building soft skills. I feel so blessed that I took this class in the first year of my MBA journey and believe that it was an excellent chance to reflect deeply on my life and career goals.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Babson for a variety of reasons. First of all, we have small class sizes, which will allow students to know everyone in the class and work closely with talented, passionate, and supportive people. I was also drawn to Babson’s diversity, as more than half of our cohort comes from countries outside of the U.S. We all have such a diverse set of experiences and skills to share with each other. Last, but not least, is the unique, close-knit Babson community, where we always support each other and everyone truly wants their classmates to succeed.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Be who you are. Come and visit our nice campus and meet with current students. Babson has a unique culture, so coming to visit is the best way to understand how you will fit in and how you will maintain and contribute to that culture.

What is the biggest myth about your school? I think the biggest myth is that Babson is only a place for people trying to start their own businesses. At Babson, we believe that entrepreneurial thinking is an excellent tool for all types of organizations from established businesses to new ventures. Entrepreneurship is one of the most popular concentrations in the school, but there are many different paths that Babson students take and many go on to work at established companies in Life Sciences & Healthcare, Finance, Data Analytics, Sustainability etc.

What was your biggest regret in business school? There are couple of elective classes at Babson that allow you to travel to different countries around the world and learn about international businesses with your classmates. I think that my biggest regret in business school is not taking one of these electives.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire all of my Babson friends, but if I need to choose one, I will speak about my classmate, Jeff Branz. Before Babson, he worked in an advertisement agency and traveled all around the world shooting commercials for Royal Caribbean. Because he has passion for sustainability and education and wants his career to have a real impact on the world, he decided to leave a successful advertising career and pursue an MBA at Babson. I am always in awe of the fact that Jeff followed his passion and admire that he has been active in mentoring students and club leadership at Babson. Surrounding myself with people like Jeff has been hugely valuable to me.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My sister has encouraged and supported me in every step that I have taken in my life. She is my role model and I have always looked up to her. She is a physician by training and got her MBA recently. She guided me to the healthcare/ life sciences world and is an amazing example of how to be passionate about work and build a successful career.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…working as a dentist and taking care of my patients.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience?I would extend our Managing Talent: Your Own & Others class, which emphasizes improving soft-skills as future leaders. I would also invite guest speakers from different industries as a part of this class so that students can learn directly from a wide range of leaders.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

1) Learn Greek and Italian

2) Visit Lake Como

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like my peers to remember me as very driven and optimistic, and as someone who sees challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. I hope that they can see that my passion is finding innovative solutions to problems, especially in Healthcare.

What is your favorite movie about business? Hidden Figures. This inspiring movie is about three incredible women and how their work and contributions positively changed NASA. I think this real story teaches people a number of valuable lessons, such as organizations needing to empower people, break the barriers of segregation, and embrace diversity to help them get to success.

What would your theme song be? Queen – “Don’t Stop Me Now”

Favorite vacation spot: Bodrum, a small town on the southwest coast of Turkey. This small town has captivating beaches and a strong 3000-year history (then known as Halicarnassus). In the words of the great poet Homer, “Halicarnassus is the land of eternal blue.”

Hobbies? Traveling, meeting new people, learning about new cultures, spinning, ballet, boxing, and painting

What made Burcu such an invaluable addition to the class of 2018?

Burcu is talented, passionate, enterprising, and has an incredible work ethic. But what makes Burcu genuinely exceptional and an invaluable addition to her class is that modesty, positivity, and a calling to help others glue those traits in a relentless pursuit to drive positive change. Burcu exemplifies the approach to entrepreneurship and innovation that makes Babson College stand in a class of its own.

Before joining Babson, Burcu was an accomplished entrepreneur and physician improving the lives of many—she started a clinic for women and hosted a health show on a national TV channel in Turkey. After having her as a student in the core technology course and working with her in research for six months, I have learned and admire that she is pursuing an MBA to amplify the reach of her actions, and not merely for career gain. Burcu is poised to have an impact on health care and deserves to be honored as an outstanding MBA.”

Ruben Mancha. Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Information Systems

Division of Technology, Operations, and Information Management





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