Emory University, Goizueta Business School
“A catalyst, who always rises to the challenge and loves laughing until it hurts.”
Hometown: Tampa, Florida
Fun Fact About Yourself: I co-founded a women’s fashion line, CROSBY by Mollie Burch.
Undergraduate School and Major: University of Virginia, B.S. in Commerce
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Peachtree Orthopedics, ASC Operations Strategist
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In July 2016, I was a consultant at Bain. By August, I had switched industries entirely and become the operations strategist at an ambulatory surgery center [ASC], and within a year, I’d unexpectedly added interim clinical director to my job title with 30 staff members reporting to me. With no nursing degree, no transition time, and little guidance for how to manage a ~$15M outpatient surgery center, it was quite an adjustment. However, I was determined to rise to the challenge.
I believe I was successful as interim clinical director because I practiced servant leadership. A servant leader embraces the value of teamwork and focuses on influencing team members to be the best versions of themselves, ultimately empowering those around you to elevate the team altogether. The impact I made on the ASC has been my greatest accomplishment so far. I empowered the staff to work together and seek solutions to problems instead of just escalate complaints. It was culture shift for the surgery center, but one I believe set the organization on the right path moving forward.
What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Team Players; my classmates at Goizueta are eager to learn together. There is healthy competition here that encourages students to work together. The diversity of opinions and experiences makes it an incredibly rich learning environment.
Aside from your classmates, 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? I chose Goizueta Business School because it offered state-of-the-art resources to study the business of healthcare with the expectation that you drive the direction of your studies. After the core courses, Goizueta encourages you to blaze your own path and gives you the flexibility to dive deep into a subject area you are passionate about. With the Emory Hospital, Rollins School of Public Health, and incredibly invested professors, Goizueta expects me to take the reins and shape my experience into what I want it to be. I appreciated the structure of this program because it fosters creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit by allowing students to apply learnings from the core subjects of an MBA program.
What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I look forward to getting involved in the Emory ALS Center. Whether I get involved in research, or help administratively as a volunteer, I want to help support this incredible organization.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After three years as a consultant at Bain & Company, I wanted to take another two years before business school to pursue my passion for healthcare. While I learned an incredible amount managing the operations of outpatient surgery centers, I wanted the opportunity to truly study the business of healthcare. The intersection of business and healthcare captivates me. My experience in the industry has made me sensitive to the challenging balance between patient care and profit. I look forward to studying this balance through an MBA from Goizueta.
How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I think an MBA is most valuable when one is looking to pivot careers. I’ve been fortunate to receive financial support that helped make an MBA worth the investment.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard, Wharton, Stanford, Berkeley-Haas, Darden
How did you determine your fit at various schools? I prioritized the students and the professors. These are the people that will influence your studies for the next two years. For me, it was critical that the program was built around a team mentality instead of individual competition. I reached out to anyone I knew in certain programs and had 15-30 minute calls to learn about the culture of the school. I also wanted the opportunity to dive deeper into the business of healthcare and leveraged the admissions offices to understand the opportunities available for studying a specific industry.
What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? My defining moment was writing a biography in the 7th grade. I chose to write it on a family friend that was battling Lou Gehrig’s or ALS Disease. Through this one assignment, I learned so much from a man who was living life to the fullest. He left me with advice that forever shaped how I live my life. He said, “Remember to never let anyone put limits on you and learn to laugh at yourself and you will do great things.”
This advice taught me to live with unwavering determination and humility. He inspired me to always rise to the challenge and to stay humble through successes and failures. In business, it is often easy to take yourself too seriously, becoming lost in the intensity of a project to the point where you lose perspective. Because of this advice, I approach my work with humility. Learning to laugh at myself keeps things in perspective and allows me to value what others bring to the table. I advocate for teamwork and believe that the best leaders empower those around them.
What do you plan to do after you graduate? I plan to return to Bain & Company as a Consultant. I believe I still have a lot to learn about managing a team and I think Bain offers an unbelievably effective and structured way to build this skillset while learning from and working side by side with high profile clients.
Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I would like to be on a path to start a company that transforms how we provide surgical care across the United States. Surgical costs are one of the largest drivers and biggest levers in healthcare costs. CDC data indicates hospital care comprised the bulk of healthcare spending at over 30%. My experience in an ambulatory surgery center [ASC] has shown me first-hand how this business model helps drive costs out of the system. It significantly cuts down the overhead compared to a hospital and provides the same, if not higher, quality of care. I want to develop a company that fosters the innovation and creativity of ambulatory surgery centers to improve how our hospital systems manage costs.
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