2022 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Leslie Patch, University of Michigan (Ross)

Leslie Patch

Ross School of Business – University of Michigan

“Disciplined, thoughtful physician with boundless commitment to authentic leadership and the well-being of others.”

Age: 39

Hometown: Lafayette, Colorado

Fun fact about yourself: I was a Division I college fencer (épée)

Undergraduate School and Degree: Brown University, BA; Brown University Medical School, MD

Where are you currently working? Johnson & Johnson

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Pivoting mid-career into the biopharma and later medical device industry. Three years ago, I was more than a little apprehensive that given the particularity of my subspecialty, I would be unable to transition to a business role. The length, specificity, and strenuousness of medical training are such that few consider reorienting towards a non-clinical career. In some ways, it is like starting over learning a new industry with new ways of working. Now that I have transitioned, I realize that anything is possible and encourage others to look outside their perceived career confines.

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? Flexibility, rigor, and reputation for action-based learning.

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? Working full-time while doing an MBA provides the unique opportunity to apply new concepts immediately to current workflows. Unlike my prior formal education experiences, I found that in the online program there was almost no gap when it came to putting theory into practice.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? In the beginning, I was concerned that the relationships would be more superficial because of the distance. However, I discovered that that was far from true. The level and quality of communication both during and outside of class surprised me.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? What you get out of the program is what you put into it, so give it your all!

What would you change about an online MBA Program? There are inherently more barriers to engagement and participation in an online program. Structuring the classes to prioritize action-based learning with real-time feedback is something I would push online programs to do more.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? The principles and frameworks I learned in all the courses, particularly operations, strategy, and marketing, have helped me immensely in my cross-functional teamwork. Ultimately, I have observed that the best problem solving occurs in diverse team settings and business school helped me view these problems from different perspectives.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? While in the program, I successfully pivoted out of clinical practice into patient safety at a gene therapy biotech. Near the conclusion of the program, I was fortunate enough to receive (and accept) an offer to become a Medical Director at Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision. The Ross program not only helped me transition but accelerate within my new industry.

Did you earn a raise during the online MBA program? N/A

Number of Hours Per Week Spent On Online MBA: ~20 hours a week

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? Chief Medical Officer of a company that innovates uniquely disruptive healthcare technology and measurably improves quality of life.




Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.