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Xinyue Guo (2Y 2020) shared with us her experience pursuing the healthcare pathway at Kellogg – and helpful tips for anyone considering pursuing healthcare! Xinyue’s blog post is the last in a series from representatives of Kellogg’s Greater China Club (GCC). Click here to view all the posts in this series!

Can you briefly introduce yourself and your Kellogg Experience?

I grew up in Suzhou, China and studied in India (high school) and U.S. (college). Before Kellogg, I worked in management consulting at EY-Parthenon in Boston. I will be joining Cleveland Clinic after graduation as a hospital administrative fellow.

I was very involved with the healthcare community at Kellogg. As part of the Kellogg board fellow program, I volunteered with the board of Erie Family Health Centers in Chicago. I also served on the fundraising committee for the Kellogg Business of Healthcare Conference and attended countless healthcare events at Kellogg.

On the other hand, I only took two classes in healthcare and chose to enroll in classes across different disciplinaries, which pushed me to think outside my comfort zone. Some of my favorite classes included Public Policy by Professor David Besanko, Strategic Challenges in Emerging Markets by Professor Benjamin Jones, and Supply Chain Management by Professor Sunil Chopra. Beyond interactions in the classroom, I enjoyed getting to know my professors at Kellogg on a more personal level. All the professors have been very open to chatting about anything from class-related current issues to my career goals and personal interests. I am grateful for their commitment to the students, and it’s comforting to know that even after I graduate, some of the top minds in the industry are just an email/phone call away after graduation.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in the healthcare industry?

I joined the healthcare practice team at EY-Parthenon because I enjoyed working with the individuals on that team. As I learned about the healthcare system in the U.S. through project work, I was intrigued by the complexity of the industry. I was also frustrated by the inefficiency across different subsectors, particularly in hospitals. I wanted to apply my skills and strengths to drive a positive, visible impact and healthcare seemed like the perfect combination for me.

Can you tell us about your summer internship experience?

I interned with International Operations at Cleveland Clinic over the summer, and I was the only MBA intern in the program. Different from a structured MBA internship, I had to proactively source projects I wanted to be involved in and build my own path.

The experience was challenging, but ultimately rewarding.

What difficulties you encountered during your study and recruiting at Kellogg? How did you manage to overcome them?

  • Visa sponsorships for opportunities. It could be frustrating when most of the postings on job board requires U.S. work authorizations and there’s not much the school or you could do. Never be afraid to clarify or ask for exceptions; while it often doesn’t work, it never hurts to give it a try.
  • Off-campus recruiting resources. I didn’t participate in any on-campus recruiting programs. Luckily, there was a strong healthcare community at Kellogg I could turn to and I had an amazing IPG. My professors were also extremely passionate about my career development and offered to reach out to alums and helped me analyze pros and cons of different offers.

What resources does Kellogg provide for students interested in the healthcare industry? Which ones did you find particularly useful?

Kellogg has a Healthcare Management Pathway, consisting of classes relevant for healthcare management across pharmaceuticals, bio/med tech, payers and providers. While it’s not an official major, many students interested in healthcare will take a handful of classes in the pathway and get to know each other. Kellogg’s Healthcare Club and Healthcare Conference team also bring students together through organized speaker events, social activities and conference planning. I met some of my best friends from Kellogg through the Healthcare Club and conference and loved being part of the community.

Did you take any courses relevant to healthcare you want to recommend to students who want to pursue a career in healthcare?

Healthcare Strategy is a must for any student interested in healthcare at Kellogg. The course provides a good overview of the U.S. healthcare industry and apply frameworks from core strategy class to a variety of case examples. The class, taught by Professor Craig Garthwaite, covers a lot of material in 10 weeks and requires a lot of engagement from the students during the class, but it’s worth the hard work and the end result is rewarding! Although I am far from an expert in U.S. healthcare, the course provided me with sufficient background knowledge to engage a conversation in any vertical in healthcare and think critically and strategically about healthcare issues.

Many incoming Chinese students are interested in the healthcare industry. Do you have any general advice for them?

  • Get to know your peers and professors and seek their help. They were my go-to network when I had doubt about my career choices, questions about different companies or needed support during downtimes. The healthcare community at Kellogg is very close and full of amazing individuals!
  • Be realistic and resourceful. Kellogg is focused on the business of healthcare, so if you are more interested in other topics, you will have to proactively look for resources. I have found the alumni network and speakers to be valuable connections to have. It takes work to build and maintain those relationships to I think it’s well worth the effort.

Anything else you would like to mention?

Kellogg provides so many resources and opportunities that it could be overwhelming. While it’s okay to be open-minded and explore new things, I found it helpful to reflect frequently on how I am spending my time to stay grounded and focused.