A new series in which we reach out to alumni of the MBA for Executives program to learn more about their time at Yale SOM and how it’s impacted their lives since graduation.
Genevieve Faith ’07
MBA for Executives Focus Area: Healthcare
Current Position: Head of Business Strategy, Boehringer Ingelheim China Human Pharma
What’s your current professional role?
I work to improve the health of Chinese patients as head of business strategy for Boehringer Ingelheim China’s human pharmaceuticals business. Family-owned since it was established in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is one of the pharmaceutical industry’s top 20 companies. My department is the navigator of BI China’s strategic direction and drives China’s steering by supporting current performance goals and identifying future opportunities.
What made you apply to and enroll in the MBA for Executives program?
After working for 10 years in the medical side of our business, I wanted to take on broader responsibilities within the company to have more of an impact on patient health, especially in the area I have most passion for: emerging markets. The MBA for Executives program was just starting at SOM. It was a perfect fit to provide me with exposure to areas of business I lacked and to sharpen my critical thinking and leadership skills.
What are your strongest memories of your time at Yale SOM?
Three memories come to mind: First, working really, really hard, as I learned so many new concepts while still contributing to my company in my day job. Second, being energized as I was able to combine what I was learning to my job and see real progress in what I could deliver for my company. And, most important, getting to know my wonderful and talented classmates and developing lifelong friendships as we all went through this same journey together.
How would you describe your classmates?
I remember sitting in our first orientation meeting where we introduced ourselves and being utterly impressed with the skills, competencies, accomplishments, and authenticity of my classmates. Twelve years later, I am still in awe of my classmates. They are amazing and wonderful people who are driving change in the world.
I took a lot more smart risks with my career after the MBA for Executives program, and would not be where I am today without it.
Do your classmates still play a role in your life?
Since I’ve moved around to Germany, different parts of the U.S., and China performing different roles, technology has been great for keeping in touch. I love catching up on what everyone is doing. LinkedIn is great, and I can’t wait until the rest of the world discovers WeChat.
How did the MBA for Executives change the way you think?
The MBA for Executives program helped me understand how businesses as a whole work—helping me see beyond just my particular areas of expertise. I learned in a deeper way the importance of teamwork, communications, strategy, and leadership. It gave me the skills and confidence to develop independent thoughts on our business and share them in a professional and engaging way with colleagues from any part of our business. I took a lot more smart risks with my career after the MBA for Executives program, and would not be where I am today without it.
Are there insights from the program that are still useful at work?
Two insights come to mind: First, the importance of asking smart questions to obtain knowledge and understand different perspectives before making a decision. It’s a simple concept, but the MBA for Executives program made me understand why it’s so important, and how to do it.
Second, the healthcare concentration of the MBA for Executives gave me rich insights into how the U.S. and various global healthcare systems work. I was able to learn more about what governments, payers, and healthcare providers are trying to achieve and how healthcare ecosystems work. This was special knowledge that differentiated me from my peers. Healthcare systems are constantly changing, of course, but I have a strong foundation to be able to understand and interpret the changes. I still use this today in driving our business.