Meet The Imperial MBA Class Of 2019

Pedro Diaz

Imperial College Business School

Hometown: Panama City, Panama.

Fun Fact About Yourself: In my senior year of high school, I played Danny Zuko in the play Grease.

Undergraduate School and Major: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Economics.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Business Development Manager at Maxia Latam and Co-founder of Vitae In-home Health Services.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was leading a medical specialists’ team in creating an innovative Hospital Commissioning and Management model, which includes all elements necessary to deliver a high-quality comprehensive medical service to future patients. To obtain a clear vision of my objective, I collected, analysed, and sized all the necessary information of the national health system in Panama. This methodology was particularly prototyped for a yet to be established 650-bed hospital structure in Panama that will provide 2.9 million Panamanians with a specialised health facility offering state-of-the-art technology and medical equipment to enhance the patient experience. Currently, this management model is being used in different projects in Panama.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Intelligent and interesting are qualities that best define my MBA classmates. In every single class, I learn something new because of intellectual discussions that arise in a variety of subjects. Such different perspectives and thoughts have only enhanced the class experience. Also, all of my classmates have a unique and fascinating story worth listening to.

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? Its location in the city of London and the programme’s focus on Innovation and Entrepreneurship were the main factors that motivated me to choose Imperial’s Full-Time MBA. As I just started my own company in the healthcare sector, I wanted to deep dive into these fields and learn more about its nuances. This was essential to me because I want to bring back to my country the best practices to improve the healthcare sector.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to start my Entrepreneurial Journey, which is a team-based venture startup programme, where we will take an idea for a new product or service, develop a value proposition, carry out customer discovery research, validate the product or service, and create a business proposition. I am also interested in the different events and activities offered by the Latin American Club and the Business School’s Healthcare Club.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Having gained adequate work experience (seven years), I thought this was the perfect time to immerse myself in a programme with a curriculum that would provide me with the academic and pragmatic experience I need to better understand all functions of a company from a general management perspective. Moreover, I have reached a point in my career where I am managing more people and having a more distinctive role in the organisation. My level of participation in large contract negotiations, for instance, has increased accordingly. Given the multidisciplinary and complex nature of such projects, I often feel the need to expand my practical and theoretical business education. Similarly, as I worked towards launching Vitae, my in-home care venture, I believe a formal training in entrepreneurship would be highly valuable.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? The world is getting smaller and more complex every day, so I believed that becoming part of a diverse cohort would be crucial in order to network with students from all corners of the world. Two months into the programme, I am happy to say that I am nourishing friendships with classmates from all continents in the globe and learning from their perspectives on economic, social and political challenges worldwide. For this reason, the MBA is worth the investment.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? IE Business School.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I was looking for a programme in a big city, with a diverse cohort, and with a focus on entrepreneurship. After conducting vast research, I was certain that Imperial’s Full-Time MBA in London, the world’s flagship cosmopolitan city, is the best answer. Firstly, its strong emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship, along with offering highly relevant elective courses such as Management Challenges in Healthcare and Strategy in Volatile and Uncertain Environments. Such courses would extend my understanding of key business topics in the sector of my interest.

Additionally, through Imperial’s MBA alumni, I also learned about the personalised support available through the Careers services and the programme’s Personal Leadership Journey, which would exhort me to materialise the leadership potential within me. Ultimately, what sealed my decision was visiting Imperial College Business School last year, as I was greatly impressed with its vast resources, positive energy, and innovative architecture.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In my former company, Maxia, I participated in an integral component of the teleradiology initiative for our state-run health institution in Panama. I led a team of engineers in the Radiology Information System (RIS) software configuration management, where I established baselines and tracked controlled process changes for all the value chain in the software implementation. This project was my defining moment. It made me realised how passionate I was about healthcare, particularly about helping people. The new system was implemented in 63 different hospitals nationwide. Its main objective was the transmission of radiological patient images, from one location to another for the purposes of sharing studies with other radiologists. Today, such project is benefitting over two million Panamanian citizens by delivering a faster turn-around time for patients, thereby improving their journey through the public health system.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?Return to my former company, Maxia, an entrepreneurial family initiative dedicated to creating turnkey solutions to specific problems affecting Panama’s population. My plan is to serve as the full-time Vice President for Healthcare Projects. Under such role, I plan on launching a division focused on evaluating new technologies and trends within the healthcare ecosystem and their applicability to Panama. My primary concentration will be on telehealth and telemedicine solutions, both pivotal components that address the main problems in Panama’s healthcare sector: the limited number of medical specialists and the population’s poor accessibility to care. Moreover, I plan on using my business skills learned through the MBA to assist Vitae’s CEO with strategic, operational, and financial decisions.

Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I see myself serving as Maxia’s Executive Vice President and, as such, pursuing high-impact projects in the four sectors where we currently operate: health, security, education, and environment. I aspire to grow that branch and turn the company into the leading healthcare consulting firm in the region. My approach towards overseeing the healthcare division will be patient-oriented. Moreover, I look to expand the division’s reach beyond Panama, onto other countries in Central America and the Caribbean. This larger geographical breadth will allow us to achieve social progress in some of the most marginalised communities in the world.

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