I Used My MBA (and Summer Internship) to Change Careers

I Used My MBA (and Summer Internship) to Change Careers

I came to Booth with a strong personal mission to improve the healthcare industry through technology innovation (if you’re wondering why, check out my intro post). The only problem? I didn’t have any healthcare experience in my background. I knew that meant I needed to use my time at Booth to gain as much experience and exposure as possible to strongly pivot into the healthcare industry. While I came to Booth with some ideas on different job functions that I could explore to make my vision a reality, the real research happened once I became part of the Booth community.

My goal of a career pivot made me part of the large percentage of Boothie’s who pursue an MBA to change their careers, so I knew I would be set up for success. I was excited to secure an internship at The Chartis Group, a boutique healthcare consulting firm, and I’ve broken down my career pivot into three parts: researching my options, recruiting for a new industry, and interning this summer.  

During the summer leading up to school (or, let’s be honest, the few days before orientation started), I realized that the industry I planned to pivot into was extremely diverse with a ton of subsectors. Within each of these subsectors, there were different leaders and visions about where the industry was moving. I needed to make this industry feel smaller, and fast, to figure out where to enter – it was the Healthcare Group that helped me do this.

Some of my best friendships at Booth have come from Healthcare Group, and I was lucky to benefit from their strong willingness to share their experiences and perspectives with me as I conducted my research. I spent my first few weeks meeting fellow classmates for coffee (and other, frostier beverages) and learning about the pros and cons of their prior careers. The group also hosted several Lunch and Learns sponsored by different companies that planned to come and recruit (including Chartis). The Healthcare Conference was also in the fall and I soaked it all in. The learning curve was steep, and I absorbed a lot of information in just a few weeks.  

Recruiting, frankly, was overwhelming at first. I realized just how many different functions seemed interesting to me. To help build my recruiting strategy, I met with a career coach – we reviewed my goals for my internship and prioritized them. To prepare for different types of interviews, I joined more clubs: Management Consulting Group, Booth Technology Group, and Marketing Group. Through these groups (and let’s not forget Healthcare Group), I was paired up in “families” with a few first and second year students who had gone through recruiting before me, and they helped me prepare.

After an extensive search and recruitment period, I landed at Chartis. Taking on a new industry via a consulting role would give me the opportunity to try out different functions around the industry and see which I liked the most before specializing later on. As I started meeting Chartisan’s, everyone was incredibly friendly and seemed unphased that I had no experience in the field. They also had a very strong network of Booth alumni who were thoroughly engaged with me throughout the process.

Once I began at Chartis, I spent every day working on my project and meeting with as many people as I could. The learning curve was even steeper than those first few weeks of school, but, because of the friendly, helpful culture at Chartis, I never felt bad about asking a question (even though it was entirely virtual). I also realized that I had a lot of applicable knowledge from my prior career and school. Now that I’m on the other end of my internship, I’m proud to have attempted and started the career pivot I had written about in my application. While it was more complex and difficult than I had thought when I wrote my application, Booth’s culture and structure, coupled with some elbow grease, made it possible.