Sunday, February 24, 2008

Wharton Health Care Business Conference

I attended Wharton's Health Care Business Conference last week. The Thursday night keynote was Jim Yong Kim and Michael Porter from Harvard. Yes, THE Michael Porter! It was a really interesting talk on how applying business skills of strategy and execution can help corral the hugely fragmented landscape of world health initiatives in developing countries. Fascinating. Michael Porter's enthusiasm on the topic kinda reminded me of Quentin Tarantino when he talks about movies. The event made me think I may want to consider an international trip that has something to do with world health while I'm in school.

The next day had many more speakers and panels, including the Commissioner of the FDA. The overall theme was Innovation, and many of the speakers talked about how health care needs to evolve to be more personalized or segmented based on DNA, not just demographics. Depending on the speaker of the moment, the industry will be going through a revolution, an evolution, or a revolution of evolution (huh?). A highlight for me was the Focus on Innovation session. Health care related start-ups gave brief presentations on their companies' products and research and why they need and deserve venture capital investment or partnerships. I realized that a lot of the companies operate in the Philly area. In fact, 2 are located in my town! I had not really thought about focusing on the start-up route for my MBA recruiting, but now I think I may at least leave it open to exploration. Surely it will be a vastly different experience than the big pharma world, but the added risk may be worth it with the added excitement.

Finally, I have noticed a few other bloggers mentioning the swag they have received from their schools. I admit I have been a little disappointed to have received nothing swaggy from Wharton, just glossy brochures and informative packets*. That's no fun! But the Health Care Conference came through. We got a nice gym bag full of goodies, including a nice coffee mug (which my husband stole right away), various pens, and a strange t-shirt with a skeleton on it. Very fun :)

*Yeah, they did provide several lovely meals, cocktail parties, a bowling party, etc. I guess if I had to choose, a good party beats branded swag. ;)


Anonymous said...

Hi Tinydancer,

I am a prospective student (i.e. interviewed for R2). I was also at the healthcare conference and really enjoyed it:)

Hope to see you in Wharton this fall!

tinydancer said...

Congrats on your interview! I hope I will be seeing you in July!

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