Evan Sussman ’14

MBA for Executives; Associate Director, Brand Marketing, EMD Serono

The MBA for Executives program really does change the way you think. And it happens really quickly.

During my first year in the program, we were pitching a redesigned discount program at work. Our medications are often paid for by patients out of pocket, and we believed there was room for a discount program optimized for patients with demonstrated financial need. This is the type of program that must be calibrated very carefully, so that the appropriate patients can benefit from these discounts.

At the same time, I was taking a class at SOM called Spreadsheet Modeling. This class taught some pretty advanced techniques in strategic modeling and optimization. Beyond the quantitative skills, the class also taught us to design models that can be presented clearly and simply, so that they are easy to understand for people who aren’t as close to the issue. With the new skills that I’d learned, I was able to help our team properly design, build, and execute a program that has helped several thousand eligible patients afford their medications.

This is typical of how the MBA for Executives program really does change the way you think. And it happens really quickly—much quicker than you might expect. Almost immediately, you’re seeing aspects of business that you may not have seen in your own discipline. In the academic environment, you’re forced to take a fuller, more panoramic view of the business environment. You start to understand the primary motivations of individuals, companies, financers, and customers. All of a sudden, you’re looking at everything in a different way.

Interviewed on September 6, 2013.

Evan Sussman
MBA for Executives; Associate Director, Brand Marketing, EMD Serono