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By Kellogg’s Full-Time Healthcare Club

The healthcare community at Kellogg is supported by strong resources in academics, recruiting, and experiential opportunities. In this blog, we reached out to current Kellogg students Bhavana Balakrishnan (2Y, 2022), Christa Styrkowicz (2Y, 2022), Dan Ertis (2Y, 2021), Matt Burkhardt (1Y, 2021) and Taryn Puranmalka (2Y, 2022). In our conversation, they shared why they picked Kellogg, how they engage with the Healthcare community here, and which resources they have found most helpful. Check out their career profiles at the bottom of the post!

Why did you pick Kellogg?

Taryn: After I identified programs that “met the bar” in terms of job opportunities and academic excellence, Kellogg stood out to me the most when I visited campus. While making such a huge change in my career, I appreciated how diverse backgrounds were valued in the community. Healthcare-focused programs were also a big factor during my MBA search. I loved the flexibility of the Healthcare at Kellogg (HCAK) classes so that I could focus on the areas that would be most helpful to my career.

Bhavana: My previous role was deeply embedded in the pharmaceutical industry and I was energized by the tangible impact that I could have on patients’ lives. While I decided to pivot out of my operations-focused role, I knew that I wanted to be close to the healthcare space. Kellogg’s multitude of offerings academically, professionally, and socially in the healthcare industry really stood out to me. I also wanted to make sure that I built a solid general management foundation and layered in Healthcare learnings, rather than solely be limited to healthcare offerings. I personally love how the HCAK program is structured to be a complement to our core curriculum, rather than be a bubble of its own.

Matt: One differentiating factor for me was the opportunity to engage in a wide variety of experiential learning courses with a collaborative and diverse cohort. I experienced this Kellogg community as a prospective applicant when visiting the school and was blown away by students who were all willing to go above and beyond to connect.

How do you engage with the healthcare community at Kellogg?

Dan: I was involved as an alumni director in the Healthcare Club, working to build mentoring relationships between Kellogg graduates and current students. I was also involved with the Kellogg Business of Healthcare Conference, a student-led initiative that brings speakers from around the world to Evanston to engage in challenging and important conversations about the future of the healthcare industry. This past year, I led the Conference’s Speakers Committee, helping design and build panels around topics such as healthcare access, the impact of COVID-19 on supply chains, and the future of telehealth.

Matt: I took the following healthcare and/or healthcare-adjacent classes during each of my elective quarters at Kellogg and all had meaningful group-based collaborative work: Forging and Funding Healthcare Start-ups, Healthcare Strategy, Healthcare Strategy Consulting Lab, and Value Creation and Capture in Healthcare; additionally, I was able to participate in three healthcare case competitions (Kellogg Social Impact Competition, Kellogg Healthcare Case Competition, and the AbbVie Innovation Challenge) that allowed me to work alongside other diverse and motivated students while expanding my understanding of the healthcare ecosystem (and win some cash!).

Christa: One of my favorite experiences this year was serving as a first-year director for the Kellogg Business of Healthcare Conference. I worked on the Startup & Growth Fair team where we recruited 15+ innovative healthcare startups to come to “campus” (virtually) to network with Kellogg students. Several Kellogg students (including myself) secured in-quarter or summer internships through the Startup & Growth Fair. Being part of the Conference team and attending the Healthcare Conference myself, I was incredibly impressed by the level of professionalism, esteemed speakers, and thoughtful conversations a student-led team brought to the Conference.

Which Kellogg resources in healthcare have you found most useful in strengthening your interest in the industry and supporting your recruiting efforts?

Taryn: I will say I’m a huge healthcare nerd and taking the HCAK classes has been amazing. Being out of the academic space of healthcare while working with patients in the hospital, it’s been refreshing to zoom out and think about why our system acts in certain ways and the ways in which I want to change it in my career. More than just the materials covered, I’ve also gained perspective from classmates with expertise in different areas.

Christa: I found the Healthcare Trek most useful in strengthening my interest in the industry. I participated in the Health Tech Trek in the fall where a small group of first year students met with companies across the healthcare industry over two days. The company representatives, many of them Kellogg alumni, shared their personal experiences and answered questions about their respective company’s strategy and response to market trends. It was helpful meeting with so many different companies in different healthcare verticals in a short period of time.

Dan: I benefitted greatly from my Pharma Interview Prep Group. This group was my primary support network during the recruiting process, giving me a sounding board for everything from my one-minute elevator pitch to strategies for negotiating my internship offers. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Kellogg’s top-notch professors and classes in the HCAK Pathway. What I learned in Healthcare Strategy with Professor Craig Garthwaite and Healthcare Economics with Professor David Dranove (among many other courses) not only contributed directly to my recruiting success but reinforced my passion for the healthcare industry and helped me feel like part of the healthcare community at Kellogg.

Student Profiles

Taryn Puranmalka (2Y, 2022)
: Nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Post-Kellogg: Healthcare Consulting

Dan Ertis (2Y, 2021)
Pre-Kellogg: Economic Policy Consultant at Eastern Research Group, Inc., working with the Federal Government
Post-Kellogg: Pharmaceutical Industry

Matt Burkhardt (1Y, 2021)
Pre-Kellogg: Implementation Consultant and Product Lead at Epic
Post-Kellogg: Healthcare Technology and Services

Christa Styrkowicz (2Y, 2022)
Pre-Kellogg: Strategy & Analytics Consultant at Deloitte Consulting’s Life Science and Healthcare practice
Post-Kellogg: Healthcare Technology

Bhavana Balakrishnan (2Y, 2022)
Manufacturing Supervisor at Novartis’ pharmaceutical tablet manufacturing facility
Post-Kellogg: Healthcare Investment Banking