Meet The Texas McCombs MBA Class Of 2020

Aydin Zahedivash

University of Texas, McCombs School of Business

An engineer and medical student, working to modernize how we get and stay healthy.”

Hometown: Austin, TX

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love aviation—I can identify almost any commercial aircraft flying overhead just by looking at it from the ground.

Undergraduate School and Major: The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering; Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering; Current degree in progress: Doctor of Medicine at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I’ve had internships and concurrently work in engineering research and design, but I haven’t taken gaps in my education for full-time jobs yet.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’m usually not too great about describing my accomplishments, but there are moments in my career, thus far, which have given me great satisfaction. The most impactful moments have been while on my 4-week block serving on our trauma/acute care surgery service here at the Dell Seton Medical Center. Each night I was on call, I had the privilege of taking care of patients while they were in critical condition. I found great satisfaction not only during surgery but also while following the patients after recovery and helping their families navigate through such a difficult time in their lives. There really is a sort of magic feeling when you are welcomed into someone’s family during such a confusing and difficult time and are trusted to help them get better, cope, and move forward.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Adaptive. The few that I’ve met so far seem very forward thinking and ready to absorb and build on ideas. This is an awesome thing.

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? The Texas McCombs MBA has a great focus on strategy and innovation which is a key interest of mine as I work towards being an effective innovator in medicine.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I’m looking forward to learning from the people! My classmates and the faculty will come together with experiences from industries vastly different than my own in medicine and I’m very much looking forward to learning how people from other backgrounds think and approach problems. Aside from broadening my own way of thinking, there’s a lot in healthcare that can be improved simply by taking lessons from other industries.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Throughout my medical school experience, it has become apparent to me that advocating for patients and effectively keeping people healthy requires thinking beyond the patient-to-patient scale. There’s more to think about on a systematic scale about how broad decisions and strategy affect how well we can take care of people. I hope that my experience as an MBA student will better prepare me to take care of patients as a physician and help me address broader barriers to effective care.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? None, this is because I am a dual MD/MBA applicant and applied to the Texas McCombs MBA program through our partnership between the Dell Medical School and the McCombs School of Business.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? While I was an undergraduate engineering student, I spent some time shadowing physicians in the surgery suite at the Dell Children’s Medical Center and the delicate nature of caring for children and the way the physicians carefully and expertly explained procedures and medical conditions to parents really shone a light for me on what I wanted to do with my career. I loved how the best doctors were so approachable and used their knowledge to address and diffuse anxiety and concerns in patients and their families. This has inspired me to keep working hard in school so that I can someday be like them.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? After I graduate medical school, I will need to complete 3-5 years of residency in order to be a practicing physician. I hope to attend residency at an institution that places emphasis on collaborating with others outside of medicine to think of solutions to some of the most pervasive problems in healthcare. This is one area where I hope to make contributions to our field. UT Austin is a great example of a place like this!

Where do you see yourself in five years? After residency, I hope to have a job that allows me to work together with academia and industry to improve the health of our communities. The types of problems that interest me revolve around optimizing our healthcare networks and resources to adequately and efficiently respond to health concerns in our community.