Though the policy decisions were vital for the welfare of the healthcare consumers Mark wanted to serve, something just wasn’t working right.
He became more interested in identifying how to bring about solutions in the real world and decided that an MBA would lead him there. Mark says the Yale School of Management was a no-brainer.
His passion for improving healthcare for Americans led him to JustMedicine, INC. after he graduated in 2017.
JustMedicine is a nonprofit with a mission to improve society’s welfare and health by increasing access to necessary drugs as well as ensuring prices remain affordable—Mark is the CEO and the president of the company board of directors.
Mark says the Yale MBA improved his career in myriad ways.
“In terms of my role as CEO of JustMedicine, the very mission, specifically increasing competition in generic pharmaceutical markets, came from coursework done during my MBA,” he says.
The school’s network has also been a gift to his career—two other SoM alums sit on the company’s board, and, adds Mark, they have been invaluable when it comes to strategy and operations.
BusinessBecause caught up with Mark to find out more.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
An MBA seemed like the perfect degree to give me the economic and policy sophistication to continue building my policy analysis skills while also giving me the practical, operation-focused, and business strategy skills to actually ensure policy solutions were implemented in a way that enhanced social welfare and contributed to our understanding of problems.
Yale SoM was my first-choice program from the start, in large part because Yale intentionally brings the societal perspective into the classroom regularly and asks its students to at least consider the impact business decisions have on the world at large.
How did the MBA enhance your career?
One of the most brilliant people I've ever met, Fiona Scott Morton, was the professor who gave me the intellectual framing to understand the problem JustMedicine aims to address, and her role in furthering our mission has been critical, both in terms of strategic thinking and helping us connect with other senior leaders in this space.
Beyond that, the MBA gives people an impression that I have a baseline level of competence that makes gaining a seat at the table a whole lot easier.
Have you benefited from the Yale MBA network?
My peers at Yale are still a significant part of my network, and our ability to call upon one another to support our work enhances each of our abilities. I talk with my fellow classmates several times a week and consider some of them among my closest friends and professional advocates.
While at Yale, my classmates were almost as important to my learning as our faculty. The experience students bring in from various industries gives a rich texture to the coursework, providing the real-world context that makes the lessons stick.
Additionally, learning about the different beliefs, experiences, and values that people have in an intimate setting is helpful in preparing you for the different kinds of people you'll come across working across industries.
What advice do you have for other MBA applicants?
I would recommend that MBA applicants identify what their core values are and think carefully about what role they want to play in the world.
The blessing and the curse of the MBA is that it opens many doors that were previously closed or that students didn't even know existed.
In some ways, this increase in opportunity is fantastic. It allows us to see more potential paths to fulfilling lives and careers and gives us greater flexibility in achieving our aims.
But, all of these opportunities, especially those opportunities that come with fancy titles, large paychecks, and other perks, can often feel like they're objectively better than other paths we may have considered previously, despite that not being the case.
By clearly knowing your values, both personal and professional, MBA applicants and students can better navigate these opportunities that are both fantastic and, at times, overwhelming.