2018 MBAs To Watch: Nishant Rastogi, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Nishant Rastogi

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

Optimistic healthcare futurist, passionate sports fan, rookie husband, budding chef, and chronically frustrated tennis player.”

Age: 27

Hometown: Easton, PA

Fun fact about yourself: I bungee jumped off the Auckland Harbor Bridge in New Zealand.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Dartmouth College, B.A Economics

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Broadview Ventures (Healthcare Venture Capital), and Fidelity Investments

Where did you intern during the summer of 2017? Being in Kellogg’s One-Year program, I didn’t do a summer internship. Instead, I’ve completed 2 part-time internships during the school year at Linden Capital Partners and Digitalis Ventures.

Where will you be working after graduation? New Rhein Healthcare Investors

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

  • Northwestern Insight Group – Served as a mentor to undergraduate students.
  • Kellogg Venture Capital/Private Equity Conference Planning Team – Recruited speakers and organized panel sessions on healthcare and blockchain technologies.
  • India Business Club Finance Team – Secured corporate sponsorships for “Bollywood Bash”, Kellogg’s largest Indian cultural event that attracts ~600 students every year.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Being selected to participate in Northwestern’s NuVention Medical program, a unique interdisciplinary experiential learning course designed to expose students to the entire innovation and entrepreneurial life cycle of developing new medical technologies.

The course is taught across each of Northwestern’s graduate schools, including the business, law, medical, and engineering schools. My team consisted of 2 engineers, 1 lawyer, 1 medical student, 1 MD/MBA student, and myself. We developed a pain mitigation device to improve the patient experience of getting injections. The device is designed for children, and our hope is that it will improve vaccination compliance and reduce needle-phobia. We have a prototype, filed patents, and will present our business plan to investors at the end of the class.

I am proud of what we accomplished, and I enjoyed working with such a diverse team.  Healthcare innovation requires different players in the industry to be willing to work together, and to learn from each other, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience that first-hand.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Turning an unpaid internship at Broadview Ventures into a full-time role and contributing to an investment that has the potential to revolutionize heart failure care.

In the summer of 2015, I started an unpaid internship at Broadview. I had gotten into business school earlier that year, and my plan was to matriculate in the fall. My goal for the summer was to shadow and learn as much as I could, and then use business school to transition into the healthcare industry.

The shadowing experience turned into a significant project when Broadview asked me to assess new technologies for heart failure. Having no prior knowledge in life sciences, I didn’t even know where to start.  Over the next 10 weeks, I read industry reports, studied medical textbooks, and interviewed physicians, to get up to speed.  Though it was more effort than I originally anticipated, I genuinely enjoyed the work.

At the end of my internship, I approached the managing director and asked if I could join full-time.  The following week, I wrote my own job description, and I became Broadview’s first investment associate.

Over the next two years, I worked with numerous life sciences start-ups at organizations, such as the Mayo Clinic and Massachusetts General Hospital, and had the opportunity to discuss cardiovascular innovation trends with the former president of the American Heart Association and the former CEO of Novartis Pharmaceuticals. In 2016, I helped Broadview publish an article about the importance of impact investing in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

My internship work eventually led to Broadview’s investment in a company that is developing a new, minimally invasive mechanical circulatory support device for the treatment of heart failure. We expect this technology to be tested in a first-in-human trial later this year, paving the way for future improvements in the standard of care.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor is Paul Corona, who teaches Personal Leadership Insights. I was impressed by his commitment to helping each one of his students reach their potential. He took the time to have one-on-one career coaching sessions with everyone in the class, and was genuinely interested in getting to know our stories. I’m fortunate and grateful to have him as a career coach for the future.

What was your favorite MBA Course? My favorite MBA course is Healthcare Strategy. After each class, I find myself re-thinking the perceptions I previously held about a particular topic in healthcare.

Professor Craig Garthwaite uses simple frameworks to explain complex topics such as The Affordable Care Act, Pharmaceutical Pricing, and Healthcare M&A. The class has helped me understand the economic trade-offs within our healthcare system and has improved my ability to critically assess policy decisions and business models in healthcare.

Why did you choose this business school? Kellogg has an emphasis on teamwork and prides itself on being a community of “high impact, low ego” individuals that are committed to using business as a way of making a positive impact on society. This description resonated with me, and as I learned more about Kellogg’s unique academic offerings – including the One-Year Program and the opportunities for experiential learning – I knew the school would be a good fit both personally and professionally.

What is your best piece advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Take the time to learn what makes Kellogg unique. Talk to the students who are in the program, talk to alumni, and read the school’s messaging closely. Every MBA program has a mission that is carefully crafted by administration. If you can understand what’s truly important to the school, it will come across in your essays and application.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Kellogg has a very friendly and inclusive culture that’s fantastic, but sometimes makes you feel as if you have to be extroverted to excel. One perception of business school is that it’s all parties and social events, and that’s partly true – I don’t diminish the importance of relationship building and networking – but, I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of personality types at Kellogg.  As an introvert, I sometimes felt guilty if I stayed home on a given night instead of going out, but once I asked around, I realized that there were plenty of people who shared my sentiments.

What was your biggest regret in business school? I wish I had taken Professor Kara Palamountain’s Medical Technologies in Developing Countries course, but it conflicted with another course. Professor Palamountain recently received a MacArthur Foundation grant for her work in bringing new technologies to under-resourced areas to improve the survival rate of newborns in developing countries. This year, her class is going to Tanzania to continue the project. Overall, I wish I had gotten to know more professors, attended more office hours, and participated in research opportunities.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? It’s very difficult to pick just one, because there are a variety of qualities that I admire about my classmates. I admire Chuck Feerick’s entrepreneurial spirit –

he has been hosting his own podcast about healthcare innovation for the past 2 years, and he’ll be my future co-partner when we launch our own healthcare VC fund many years from now.  I admire Leroy Howard’s dedication as he trains for yet another Iron Man competition. I admire Eric Muhlberger for the courage he showed when he gave an incredible speech in front of 300+ students just a few months after we started school.

I admire all the parents in our class because they successfully balance significant responsibilities at home while also being great teammates and contributors to our MBA community. And lastly, I admire all the risk-taking entrepreneurs who follow their passions without any fear.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My parents encouraged me to pursue whatever I wanted to do in my career. Even though I’m sometimes called the “black sheep” of my family because everyone else is practicing medicine, my parents trusted my judgment and supported the decisions that I made, and I’m thankful for that.

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…studying my way through medical school, or working as a medicine resident.”

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the MBA experience? Create more opportunities for student-faculty interaction. Possible methods include: presentations, mini-classes, lunches, open office hours, etc. Most students are not able to take every class they want at Kellogg, so these opportunities would provide another way to access professors or get a “preview” of their course.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

1(a). Attend an Eagles Super Bowl Parade in Philadelphia (crossed it off this year!).

1(b).  See the Northern Lights.

  1. Take a pasta making class in Italy.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I hope my peers remember me as a helpful teammate, a balanced individual, and someone who’s equally willing to stay late to finish a project, but also happy to grab a drink.

What is your favorite movie about business? Office Space – Don’t settle for a job that isn’t working for you.  You can always keep looking.

What would your theme song be“Take A Minute” – K’NAAN

Favorite vacation spot:  Koh Samui, Thailand

Hobbies? Playing tennis and basketball, cooking midnight snacks, trying to travel to at least one new country per year, and following Philadelphia sports.  I also enjoy trivia, comedy shows, podcasts, The Wire, Black Mirror, Vox, and VICE news.

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

“I recommend, with the highest level of confidence, Nish Rastogi for Poets & Quants Best & Brightest from the Class of 2018. Nish – a role model in my Personal Leadership Insights course and the Kellogg MBA Leadership Development System – initially caught my attention for being extraordinarily thoughtful, thorough and candid with his preparation. This made perfect sense after I learned Nish’s life story of wide-ranging accomplishments: from studying at Oxford University, to working with the CEO of a Mayo Clinic funded startup, to helping revolutionize heart-failure care, to being a caring tutor at Dartmouth College.

In true Kellogg high-impact / low-ego fashion, Nish never had to brag about past accomplishments. He didn’t need to display aggressive leadership behaviors either. Nish led with the kind of assertiveness and influence that inspired the best in his colleagues. He also continued growing as a leader, inside and outside the classroom, by developing and demonstrating both intellectual and emotional intelligence – a balanced leadership style many find elusive. I have no doubt Nish will accomplish his career mission of “Leading positive change in the healthcare industry and helping to transform the city of Philadelphia into a global hub for life sciences innovation.”

Paul L. Corona

Clinical Associate Professor of Leadership

Director of Full-Time MBA Leadership Development, Kellogg School of Management