2020 Best & Brightest MBAs: Amar Dixit, Northwestern University (Kellogg)

Amar Dixit

Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management

“Striving to channel my energy and passion for driving innovation within healthcare.”

Hometown: Weston, Massachusetts

Fun fact about yourself: Having never been to Africa prior to business school. I have traveled to eight African countries since enrolling.

Undergraduate School and Degree:

  • Johns Hopkins University- BS in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics & Statistics
  • University of Cincinnati College of Medicine – MD

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? National Jewish Health & University of Colorado: Allergy & Immunology Fellow Physician

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, where I helped to design a novel tech-enabled healthcare delivery model.

Where will you be working after graduation? I am still exploring and deciding my next career move. This is partially because the Kellogg network and its resources have opened up so different doors to unexpected opportunities.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Director & Vice-President of Alumni, Kellogg Healthcare Club

Mentor, KBUD Kellogg Admissions Committee

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? As part of my involvement with Kellogg’s Healthcare Club, I have been working with the Kellogg alumni team to launch an alumni healthcare mentoring program intended to form longitudinal relationships between students and Kellogg alumni serving in senior healthcare leadership positions. The program has helped students think deeply and purposefully about launching their healthcare careers. Kellogg’s alumni team are using this model to design other such programs within the school. I feel quite proud that I helped establish a program that will likely become a critical part of so many current and future Kellogg students’ experiences.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As a physician at National Jewish Health & University of Colorado, our treatment teams were referred to patients from all over the world. As the nation’s leading respiratory center, we were often our patients’ “last hope.” Most had visited numerous health systems, had innumerable testing, and seen 20+ doctors with no clear diagnosis or treatment path forward. These cases required a multidisciplinary approach and insightful problem-solving. I listened attentively, worked closely with those in my department, and undertook a case-conference type approach with physicians from other specialties to arrive at a diagnosis and a clear plan forward. We altered the course of many recalcitrant diseases and empowered both our young and old patients to live a better quality of life.

Why did you choose this business school? Coming from a non-traditional background, I was looking for five things in a business school: 1) Strong leadership and general management training; 2) A diverse and engaged student body; 3) A culture of collaboration and support; 4) A strong healthcare environment; 5) A prestigious business school.

Kellogg has a very strong emphasis on healthcare management. While that is important, I also wanted a business school in which I learned from other industries and their business practicum, rather than a school that segmented off the healthcare-focused students. Kellogg’s collaborative culture and groupwork environment led me to believe that some of the best learning occurs through listening to diverse peers, their experiences, and their approaches. The problems we face in the 21st century are complex, especially in healthcare. Solving them will take a diverse and motivated team. I felt that the Kellogg experience reflects that mindset.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? I advise you to self-reflect. Genuine self-reflection will bring you more clarity in understanding your life story, current interests, and vision for the future. When you apply to Kellogg, stay authentic and this self-awareness will translate into a very high-quality application.

What is the biggest myth about your school? The myth on the business school street is that Kellogg is a marketing and consulting school. Sure, these are two industries that Kellogg has been traditionally known for. But Kellogg is so much more. For example, Kellogg is excellent in tech. I have plenty of classmates going into big tech companies and the employment numbers bear this out. Kellogg has a burgeoning number going into finance, particularly private equity. The employment numbers also bear this out.

I can speak more personally to Kellogg’s robust healthcare environment which entails a strong student body, diverse classes, a large and established alumni base, impactful faculty, and powerful guest speakers.

Look at Kellogg’s curriculum, employment reports, alumni base, school events, and speakers and it will speak for itself.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Growing up I played the saxophone- alto, baritone, and soprano. As a young adult, I was even in a jazz band. I gave it up due to time constraints. Now I have not played in years. Kellogg has such a fun band culture. In these bands, there are people like me who had had not played in years. Kellogg would have been a great time and place to pick it up back. I also think playing music has intrinsic and intangible value for one’s well-being.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Jenna Leahy. I admire her both personally and professionally. Personally, Jenna has exuded honesty, insightfulness, and caring nature. Impressively, she has utilized these personal attributes to create meaningful impact. Prior to Kellogg, Jenna raised millions to start a school that provided education and non-educational resources for those from socioeconomically challenged backgrounds. And she did it for young children, kindergarten through 3rd grade. Jenna understood the importance of early childhood education. She understood that children can fall behind by grades 3-5 and struggle to ever catch up. As this education gap grows larger, it sets one set of students on a track for success and leaves another behind. I have such high admiration that she identified these issues, decided to do something about them, and then translated that decision into an impactful reality.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My patients influenced me the most. Through various experiences, I saw that the health of my patients was impacted by much more than just medicine. I realized how formally honing various skills such as finance, leadership, and business development would be beneficial to the field.

I began to think about business school and the value it would offer. I often spoke to my patients about my interest in the business of healthcare. They often encouraged me to pursue this path, and some even offered to connect me to business school resources. The support and affirmation my patients provided was exactly the push I needed.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  • I want to go to Antarctica. It’s the last continent to cover.
  • Host a healthcare-focused podcast series.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A straightforward and reliable person who is always looking forward to getting to know you better.

Hobbies? Running/sports, traveling, outdoors, and politics.

What made Amar such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Simply stated: Amar Dixit is a standout. I count myself lucky to have had him in my class. Amar’s range of talents is as noteworthy as his humility in conveying them: “I have always had interests that extend beyond medicine.” Amar excels in academic endeavors, to be sure, but what is most striking about him is his devotion to improving the capacity of those around him. Amar pushes people to think differently in their approach to leadership through his insights as a physician leader, his reflective practices, and his bold career vision beyond Kellogg. He brings a heft, breadth, and depth to conversations in and out of the classroom. In short, Amar demonstrates Kellogg’s mission to “develop brave leaders who inspire growth in people, organizations, and markets.” Amar he has gone out of his way to spark others’ growth through strong, supportive relationships within Kellogg; we will assuredly see his impact in healthcare as well. Amar is, without doubt, among the Best and Brightest in the Class of 2020.”

Brooke Vuckovic
Clinical Professor of Leadership


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