Jane Beilenson '19 HCIA Student Voices

Jane Beilenson '19

Describe yourself in three words.

Passionate, enthusiastic, and loyal. I really value relationships — my friends are like family and I pride myself on being a good friend. I view loyalty as the hallmark of friendship.

Why healthcare?

I grew up around healthcare. My dad is a doctor and was the Baltimore City Health Commissioner. My mother works at Johns Hopkins Medical School doing business development and tech transfer. My parents' passion for healthcare and the impact they were able to have in their careers absolutely inspired me. I also grew up in a political family - my grandfather was a congressman and my father ran for office. I always had an interest in health policy because of that and worked in healthcare consulting in Washington DC for five years for the Glover Park Group. I represented a wide array of healthcare clients including United Health Group. Although I really enjoyed it, I realized that I wanted to work in-house for a healthcare company to be on the execution side of strategy and business development. That is when I decided to apply to business school.

Why healthcare at Columbia Business School?

I knew I needed some financials skills in my toolkit which I did not have coming from a political science background. Columbia Business School was the ideal place to gain this financial acumen in the core classes. And New York is such an interesting place with so many major hospitals and renowned healthcare institutions, tons of providers and many health tech companies. There has been a huge uptick on the venture side and in the startup healthcare scene. Since coming here, I’ve been happy with the access NYC provides —access to practitioners in all areas of healthcare as well as Columbia’s extensive network of alumni and  supporters who are willing to meet and help you in your journey to understanding where you might fit into the landscape post-MBA.  Access is key.

Do you have a favorite class or professor in the CBS curriculum that has had an impact on your professional journey?

I took an interesting immersion seminar with Professor Linda Green last spring called Creating Value in Healthcare Delivery. We got a chance to go into the NYC ecosystem and meet the practitioners of healthcare. That class provided exposure to high level executives from impressive and dynamic healthcare companies like Oscar, Montefiore and CityMD. It was a unique opportunity to hear directly from these leaders who were surprisingly candid and open about their experiences in healthcare.

What activities are you involved in?

I am a member of the Healthcare Industry Association (HCIA) and actively engage with their coffee chats and company presentations. These have provided further insight into the healthcare landscape and invaluable access to CBS alumni working in the healthcare ecosystem. I am also an active member of CWIB and the CBS Real Estate Association, and have taken advantage of some great events and networking opportunities.

Tell us about your in-semester internship.

In the spring of my first year I worked with a healthcare start up downtown called CareDox. CareDox is working to improve children's health with technology that efficiently connects schools, families, and healthcare providers. I helped CareDox with their marketing and outreach efforts to parents to help educate them about school-site vaccinations and flu shots that children could receive if they opted in. CareDox is working to make American school districts become leaders in public health, health technology, and preventive care. It was inspiring to be part of this critical mission.

How did you balance your full-time MBA and your internship?

I identified a company that afforded me the opportunity to work remotely and was centered around project-based work. This allowed me to map out my time effectively and efficiently.  I was able to block out days dedicated to that role where I would go into the office, and other times work remotely to balance my MBA and internship.

Tell us about your summer internship.

I was an investments and capital markets intern at Welltower, which is a healthcare REIT (real estate investment trust) that invests in senior housing and outpatient centers. Welltower is truly on the forefront of healthcare, and given the shifting demographics in the United States with the baby boomer population aging Welltower’s work will become even more important in the space. The silver tsunami is coming, and it’s going to impact the healthcare system in a ways that people do not realize.

The internship is a mini-version of their post-MBA rotational program so I spent five weeks in investments and five weeks in capital markets. The people were incredible, very smart, dynamic and extremely willing to help the interns learn. We were able to attend interesting meetings with major players in the healthcare space, from bankers to healthcare system executives giving us exposure to how they think about healthcare. I was able to travel and attend a meeting with a telehealth company in Boston with the Chief Strategy Officer. Overall I gained a huge amount of exposure to a wide array of areas in both the healthcare and real estate space. I was delighted to be given a full-time offer, and I’ll be joining them after graduation. I can't wait!

Rebecca Levin, MBA/MPH '20, on Prioritization and the Importance of Cross-Discipline Thinking

Meet Rebecca Levin '19,  a dual degree student pursuing an MBA at Columbia Business School and her MPH at Mailman School of Public Health.  Rebecca is a VP of the Healthcare Industry Association Strategy Committee (HCIA), is an active member of  Hermes Society, and is passionate about healthcare systems.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

Curious, ambitious, empathetic

Why study healthcare at Columbia Business School?

CBS and the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management program offered a front-row seat to innovation in healthcare both in and outside of the classroom. I truly believe that in order to make communities the healthiest they can be, something must be done to connect the dots or fill the void between the current major players in the industry and the communities they service. The relationship between Mailman and Columbia Business School and the fact that they were not siloed, offered a breadth of opportunities. When I was applying and looking at what Professors at both schools were doing, I was like that is what I want to do! Having the opportunity to learn from them and take their classes was icing on the cake.

Is there a Professor or class you feel was most impactful during your time at the Business School?

Being a bit of a policy nerd who enjoys systems level analysis in healthcare, I particularly enjoyed Neil Masia’s class, Public Policy and The Healthcare Industry. Engaging and topical, Professor Masia successfully bridged the gap between government, policy analysis, and business. I happened to take the EMBA version of the course, and it was quite cool to have such unique perspectives in the room. Since EMBA is the part time Executive program, the class was filled with working doctors and high-level hospital administrators. Having their perspectives paired with those without a healthcare background made the classroom that much more enriching. Discussions were lively and informative to say the least; it was a completely invaluable experience.

Tell us about your role as VP of the HCIA Strategy Committee. 

I love this committee because we focus on what the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Management (HPM) Program is going to look like today and tomorrow and engage in lively discussions to map that out.  I think the work HPM is doing is quite interesting and forward looking; I get to sync those efforts with HCIA initiatives, so we work as a team. The HPM Program does an amazing job staying at the forefront of healthcare curriculum, and it has been a great experience bringing a student perspective to the table. By contributing to programs evolution, my hope is to ensure future CBS students can have as great an experience as I’ve had.

Are you a member of other student organizations at Columbia?

I was really astounded by how active the student life at the Business School is and was pleasantly surprised to find welcoming communities in all corners of CBS.  I am one of the few girls that are part of the football club, which plays pick up soccer 3 times a week. 

In addition to that I serve in the Hermes Society, a student organization that works in conjunction with Admissions to connect with prospective students, help host events, and serve as a continued resource for students once they are admitted. Coming from a nontraditional business background, I want to help prospective students realize the value they can both gain and give by being here.

What event or speaker has most impressed you while at CBS?

I really enjoyed the diversity of topics at last year’s HCIA conference. Being more immersed in the world of providers, it was a great entry to hear from leaders in the pharmaceutical industry, often on the same panel. The juxtaposition of the Dean of George Washington School of Public Health with the head of CVS Caremark and to hear their discourse was beyond informative. Having voices in the room from many different actors commenting on the same issues made for such interesting discussion!

Tell us about your in-semester internship.

As a J-termer I take CBS core courses full-time over the summer, but also had the opportunity to intern at Montefiore Health Systems in the Bronx. Montefiore is unique in its longevity in the community and in the strong relationships it continues to uphold. I interned in the Strategic Planning Department, which works to expand the long-term mission of the health system. This differs from traditional business in that we not only address financial gain but also look at how particular initiatives, like expanding certain types of care, could benefit the care and health of the communities they serve.

By handling real data from across the state, I was able to learn more about how these decisions are actually made. Not only about how the business decisions of a health system worked, but also the greater macro trends of health care in New York’s urban and more rural areas.  It was a great supplement to my coursework.

How did you balance a full-time MBA and an in-semester internship?

If it is something that you are interested in than it shouldn’t be hard to make time for it. It’s all about prioritizing. There may be sacrifices but it’s worth it.  I structured my classes to fall on certain days so that I had free time to go into the office. I did homework during the commute to stay on top of my work. It’s why I am here, and what I want to be doing.

Are there any challenges/advantages to being a dual degree student? 

Having two viewpoints regarding health is incredibly transformative in how you approach anything in healthcare. I feel like having greater understanding of the underlying causes of health inequities has expounded what I’ve learned in business school and will make applying it much more meaningful. The old adage that “when one door closes, another opens” is appropriate here – both as is and vice versa! Doing the dual degree opens so many doors but comes with the realization you cannot do everything. Beyond having to be diligent about the requirements, sometimes certain opportunities come along that bring you to the point of sacrificing depth for width – you just have to decide what you want to get out of the experience. While you don’t have unlimited capacity, I’ve learned to expand my capacity (which admittedly isn’t difficult with the exciting academic, club, and other opportunities that come up at either school).

What is the best thing about living and studying in NYC?

Aside from the food, I can’t imagine studying anywhere else. The opportunities to intern part time or meet with someone who works for one of the many, many health care companies (in any industry: start up, digital health, private equity, payor/provider among others) in New York before class are not something you could do in any other city. Being able to learn from the vast network of CBS alumni in every vertical of healthcare is so easy to do in the city.  New York is such a hub with real time innovation happening here. Whether it’s healthcare or food related, I can’t get enough.  There are a lot of missing pieces in my 360-degree healthcare perspective and I feel New York has all of them.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I’ll be halfway to fixing the healthcare landscape in the US. OK, maybe ¼ of the way there. I realize it’s a daunting task but know that with the knowledge and network I’ve gained at Columbia I can effectively contribute to the transformation of healthcare delivery and increase the health of communities across the country.

What inspires you most?

I am really lucky that I have good health and lived in communities that valued good health. Knowing that I have the ability to help everyone have that is really important to me. My family showed me the value of hard work ethic and unconditional support in whatever I am interested. I have been surprised by how inspired I am by the other people I met here at CBS, and seeing their passion for whatever part of healthcare they are interested in as inspired me to explore and get involved in ways I wouldn’t have expected.

A Year in the Life of Joshua Barrett

A Year in the Life of Joshua Barrett

Joshua Barrett '19 is pursuing his MBA at Columbia Business School and medical degree at Georgetown.  Josh is VP of External Relations for the Healthcare Industry Association (HCIA), participates actively in student life, and has already interned with several organizations. This is how he spent his first year in business school.