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Why MBA: Imperial College Business School

An MBA will give doctor Prateet Minhas an understanding of the business aspects of healthcare

Thu Jan 20 2011

Medicine is often considered distant from business. But Prateet Minhas who is currently completing a one-year MBA at Imperial College Business School sees increasing connections between the two fields: “Today,” he explains, “numerous aspects of hospital management – from dealing with pharmaceutical companies to strategy implementation – require business expertise. For example, money is sometimes invested in healthcare treatments that aren’t required. A person like me who is a doctor but also has an understanding of business processes, can help a hospital to improve its cost-cutting strategy.”

This is why, after a Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery at Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi – one of India's top medical schools – and two years of experience in hospital, Prateet, 26, decided he needed a business education to advance in his career.

He looked at the FT ranking and searched for healthcare-related MBA programs. Then, he participated in the QS MBA Tour in New Delhi where he met the representatives of the business schools he was more interested in. Finally, he applied to Imperial, Rochester – Simon School of Business, and Boston College.

Both Rochester and Imperial made him an offer, but, despite Rochester’s excellent reputation, he chose Imperial because of its close relationship with entrepreneurship, and its healthcare background.

For Prateet, the main attraction of the Imperial MBA is its focus on how to start a successful business. At the core of this approach lies the Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Design course (IE&D), one of the two projects that students have to complete during the year. Working in team, they assess the commercial potential of a company’s idea and bring it into life, taking part in every stage of the process, from writing the business plan to its commercialization.

“IE&D is a live project that gives students a chance to apply what they have studied. It’s more challenging and more interesting than a normal case study because you actually influence the final outcome. In addition, many students start working for the company that developed the idea after the MBA, so it’s a great opportunity for our career.”

Another attraction is that students have very different backgrounds, coming from 23 different nationalities and having experience in different types of business. This proves interesting in group work, where “different cultures and different expertise are always mixed up, so that you can learn from others.”

In addition, the Imperial MBA allows students to tailor the program to their interests. During the first three months students take eight core courses but during the second term they choose six elective modules which allow them to specialize in specific areas.

Prateet chose ‘New Ventures in the Health Sector’ to learn more about starting a new business in the health sector.

Finally, Imperial has the right type of competition: “Everybody wants to be at the top of the class but we help each other – sharing notes and working together – and when classes are over we find time to socialize over a pint.”

Prateet has very clear ideas about what he wants for his future. After the MBA, he wants to gain some experience as a business consultant for a pharmaceutical company or a hospital. In ten years, though, he hopes to start his own business, “Probably a hospital in India. This year, I’m trying to learn more about how things work in other countries, so that I can choose the best solutions and apply them in India”, he explains.

To MBA applicants, he recommends: “you should always keep in mind that an MBA is an investment in yourself. You’ll spend money, time and a lot of energy during the program so it’s really important that you find a school that fits into your plans. I would recommend Imperial Business School to everyone who wants to open his own business, has entrepreneurship in his mind, and can put up with intense work.”