Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Making an impact in Healthcare through Management Analytics- Iris, MMA Class of 2023

Have you ever felt like you had your life all planned out, only to realize later that there's a whole new world waiting for you to explore? As a high school student, I dreamt of becoming a neurosurgeon, conducting research on a wide range of neurological diseases, and helping people in need. Very ambitious. However, as I entered university, I realized that to make a difference on patients’ well-being, it would require more than just a deep understanding of medicine. In my wet lab research experiences in undergrad, I began to see that there was a significant gap between scientific research and the practical application of research in healthcare. Many biomedical innovations failed to translate into practical solutions for patients. That’s when I discovered that, on top of my scientific knowledge, I needed to know the business side as well. This realization led me to pursue the MMA program, where I hoped to learn how to use data to create impactful solutions in healthcare.  

However, the transition to the MMA program posed some challenges. I lacked a strong technical background, so I often found myself playing catch-up with my peers who had prior experiences in computer science or statistics. Despite the challenges, I quickly discovered that my background in life sciences had equipped me with a unique set of skills.  As scientists, we are proficient in telling stories from data, extracting meaningful insights from complex information, and communicating our findings effectively. These skills are just as important in business analytics as they are in life sciences. I could use my analytical skills to identify insights and patterns from data and communicate them in a meaningful way that was easy to understand for non-technical audiences.  

Additionally, my background in life sciences has given me a unique perspective that has helped me stand out in the program. As life sciences students, we were taught to approach problems holistically and always consider the implications of our decisions. While my classmates are often focused on the technical aspects of data analysis, I can take a step back and consider the bigger picture. I am currently completing my practicum project at Veeva Systems, a cloud computing company focused on designing solutions for pharmaceutical and life sciences companies. While working with my team, I leveraged my healthcare knowledge to introduce real-world implications of our findings, which helped us propose solutions that were both practical and ethical. This project allowed me to combine my life sciences background with my data analytics skills to solve real-life business problems, and I solidified my passion for the business side of healthcare.  

I never thought I’d end up in the MMA program, but life has a very interesting way of taking us on unexpected journeys. Joining the program was an eye-opening and rewarding experience that allowed me to realize the full potential of my skills. I have discovered that my background in life sciences has given me valuable skills that set me apart from my peers. I’m excited to continue exploring the intersections of healthcare, business, and data analytics as I progress in my career. If you are considering a similar transition, don't be discouraged by the challenges and don’t be afraid to explore and step out of your comfort zone. Your unique perspective and talents might be exactly what the world of business analytics needs. 

The Master of Management Analytics is designed to give students the advanced data management, analytics, and communication skills needed to become an analytics professional


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