Meet the MBA Class of 2025: Zoe Mattana, Columbia Business School

Zoe Mattana

Columbia Business School

“Adventure-seeking general dentist with a passion for dad jokes and reshaping healthcare through business innovation.”

Hometown: Demarest, New Jersey

Fun Fact About Yourself: Stand-up comedy has always been a passion of mine. I once wrote and performed a comedy set for an audience of over 300 people, which was one of the most terrifying yet rewarding experiences of my life.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Tulane University – Environmental Biology

Columbia University College of Dental Medicine – DDS

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Lumia Dental – General Dentist

What makes New York City such a great place to earn an MBA? Even after almost 10 years of living in New York City, I’m still constantly making new connections and finding exciting opportunities. NYC is incredibly diverse, specialized, and accessible, with something for everyone. Since many companies have offices here and it’s such a social city, it’s the ideal place to explore new prospects and passions. Even after all these years, New York continues to inspire me with its ambitious culture, endless energy, and opportunities to grow.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of Columbia Business School’s MBA curriculum programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?  A key reason that I chose Columbia Business School is its top-tier healthcare program. Columbia’s Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management Program stands out by offering students opportunities for one-on-one coaching with industry experts through its Healthcare Mentorship Program. This extensive curriculum is taught by seasoned industry leaders including courses at other Columbia graduate schools, and various industry events and roundtables that provide learning beyond the classroom, such as the Healthcare Leadership Series. Moreover, I have also heard from alumni and current students that the student-run Healthcare Industry Association does a fantastic job of organizing educational, networking, and recruiting events to complement the HPM program.

What has been your first impression of the Columbia Business School MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best CBS story so far. I’ve been so impressed by the warm, welcoming spirit of the CBS community and its genuine desire to see students thrive. While on vacation in Greece this summer, I wore a CBS hat and had several excited alumni who I’d never met tell me how much they loved the program. They were eager to connect for coffee back home in the States. Their excitement and warmth demonstrated the close-knit, supportive nature of the CBS network, which extends globally.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at Columbia Business School? I am most excited about Columbia’s Executive-in-Residence program. This opportunity will support my unconventional career pivot from clinical work to healthcare management and development. I am eager to learn from experienced professionals who can provide invaluable guidance and mentorship as I embark on this new professional journey. With their support, I hope to successfully navigate my career change and future business ventures in the healthcare space.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I’ve been fortunate to have had the chance to impact so many lives as a dentist, both through private practice and global outreach efforts. Witnessing patients undergo incredible transformations, becoming happier and more confident versions of themselves, as I assist them in achieving healthy, beautiful smiles, has truly been a rewarding and fulfilling experience. As a healthcare provider, I’ve also had the privilege of identifying various undiagnosed illnesses that manifest subtly in the mouth, contributing to peoples’ overall health improvement beyond the realm of dentistry.

What do you hope to do after graduation? As a dentist, I’ve had the opportunity to observe the persistent challenges and ongoing complexities within healthcare, gaining insights from the perspectives of patients, providers, and administrators. My ultimate goal is to drive a transformation of the current healthcare system, making it more efficient, transparent, and geared towards encouraging ethical actions. Upon graduation from CBS, I plan to pursue a role as a consultant, assisting larger healthcare organizations in ethically and effectively addressing their financial and operational obstacles. As I progress in my career, I hope to expand my impact by investing in healthcare ventures that align with my lifelong mission.

What other MBA programs did you apply to?  NYU Stern, HBS, Duke Fuqua, UVA Darden

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Columbia Business School’s MBA program? Be clear about your short-term and long-term goals. Explain why you need an MBA and why specifically from Columbia Business School. Having a focused and well-defined plan will convey that you know how an MBA will help you achieve your goals. Columbia wants its students to succeed during and after the program. By demonstrating that you have a thoughtful plan to take advantage of Columbia’s resources, you will stand out as a strong candidate.


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