Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Ikram Khan, University of Minnesota (Carlson)

Ikram Khan

University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”

Hometown: Lucknow, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have never personally owned a TV. I do occasionally watch Netflix on my phone, but I generally try to avoid sitting in front of a screen. Without a TV, I’m forced to get out of the house and spend time doing things that are more engaging.

Undergraduate School and Major:  Hamdard University–Physical Therapy, Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS), Pilani, India, Public Health,

Most Recent Employer and Job Title:  Medaxis Healthcare Pvt Ltd, Founder-CEO

What has been your favorite part of the Twin Cities so far? What has made it such a great place to earn an MBA? The Twin Cities have a different nickname: Medical Alley. The tag stems from area clusters of corporate, middle market, and startup might driving innovation in healthcare. My two years in Minneapolis, a global healthcare innovation hub, will allow me to be part of the health innovations hub and create a network with global health leaders. The city hosts more than 18 Fortune 500 companies, many of which are global health leaders such as Mayo Clinic, UnitedHealth Group, Medtronic, Boston Scientific, and vibrant MedTech startups supported by Medical Alley.

Carlson MBA spend a year in hands-on Enterprise programs for Consulting, Branding, Ventures, and Funds. Which program do you intend to enroll in? What excites most about your Enterprise program? Carlson Consulting Enterprise. As a part of the Carlson Consulting Enterprise (CCE) program, I would get the opportunity to learn the best practices, frameworks, and methodologies crucial for structured problem-solving and managerial skills. Expertise gained through exposures in the CCE would help me develop as a future global leader who is solving complex health problems to create a business as a force for good for billions who still do not have access to healthcare.

Aside from your classmates, experiential learning, and location, what was the key part of the Carlson MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I find the Carlson School MBA program very exciting and aligned with my career goals. Different aspects of the program: including academic courses, experiential learning opportunities, leadership development opportunities, and a strong global alumni network, would help me to grow as a global leader. At Carlson, I am excited to take advantage of multiple centers of excellence, such as the Analytics for Good Institute, the center for integrative leadership, the Gary S Homes Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Medical Industry Leadership Institute, to harness my skills to create business for good and help people and communities prosper. I find lot-of support for students who have an interest in entrepreneurship through programs such as Sands family social venture fellowship, biz-pitch contest, Min-Corps programs.

The Carlson School takes advantage of this regional strength through its Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI). The institute boasts coursework on industry best practices, scientific developments, new technologies, and legal requirements. MILI also sponsors trips and case competitions, not to mention an annual fall conference that brings together local leaders to discuss healthcare analytics. In addition, the institute provides a platform for MBA students to complete hands-on projects or evaluate startups through its valuation lab.

What course, club or activity have you enjoyed the most so far at Carlson? The Medical industry leadership institute (MILI), which has a strong reputation globally, offers a plethora of opportunities for students who have an interest in leadership opportunities in the medical industry.

At the Carlson School, I am excited to take advantage of the global center of excellence, the Medical Industry Leadership Institute (MILI), and Medical Valuation Lab to harness my skills and network with global leaders to create business for good and help people and communities prosper. I have joined MILI student association (MILIsa) as a board member, helping organize inter-school networking event with belief that health is an interdisciplinary field and needs multiple perspectives to solve complex health problems.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: One of the most satisfying experiences of my life was inaugurating a health center in Chatra, India. Surrounded by dense forests, Chatra is a hub for Naxalite movement in the region. People have virtually no access to health facilities. Furthermore, with poor power supply, unsafe drinking water, political pushback, and security threats, it was a near-impossible task. My senior management was reluctant, and we were considering even dropping the center. However, I was determined to bring health care to the people of Chatra. Within a year, we touched more than 10,000 lives, creating a meaningful impact on both the community and the organization.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Being new to Minnesota and along with my academic commitment at the  Carlson School, I felt humbled being able to build partnerships to improve healthcare in these communities. I had a significant client interaction as one of my humblest professional moments. As a Sands Fellow, my current engagement collaborating with multi-stakeholder, including health providers, community health organizations, non-profit organizations, and technology startups, to launch a pilot program to improve health outcomes for underserved communities in Minneapolis.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into the Carlson MBA program? Most schools look at the whole person (GMAT scores, essays, and recommendations), so take the time to find out who you are and what you uniquely have to offer the community before you apply. The GMAT is just a part of the application. The importance of the rest of the application far outweighs the time and focus students typically spend on quizzing about their GMAT score. Be authentic in why you are applying to business school and what you hope to get out of it. This will enable you to write a compelling essay and have a conversant and memorable admissions interview.

Make sure you connect with current students and use resources such as Poets&Quants and GMAT Club in order to get a perspective on the application process and understand what a business school seeks in a candidate. Talk to as many MBAs (current and already out of school) as you can throughout the whole process. They don’t necessarily have to be from the schools you’re applying to. Gaining insight on business school itself, and what it can provide for you and your career, will be immensely helpful as you determine if you want to go and how you can approach the application process and the two years in the best way possible.

To non-native English speakers like myself: Work on your language skills. Starting with your GMAT, you will benefit greatly if you proactively work on your comprehension, vocabulary, and writing.

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