Eleven teams participated in the competition from schools such as the
In the days following the
"There are things we could have done better and there are things we learned from the experience," Kruse said, "but it's great to be on that list (of winners)."
The case presented to students at Kellogg wasn't a typical one. It didn't revolve around a new product launch or a manufacturing quandary. Instead it involved a public health issue and required the teams to develop a strategy to help reduce childhood pneumonia in
"We were all surprised, but it was a pleasant surprise," said Kruse, who has coupled an MBA concentration in pharmaceutical management with supply chain. "It was so multi-faceted and it had a human interest element to it. It also seemed incredibly applicable."
Ezra and Bitar were both research scientists with large pharmaceutical companies before they entered the Rutgers MBA program. Kruse, who has a degree in molecular biology, spent three years working for a contract clinical research organization. All three have accepted full-time positions at large pharmaceutical companies after graduation.
Finn, who has focused her MBA studies on pharmaceutical management and marketing, spent six years, collectively, working in finance at healthcare giant
"The case competition was a great opportunity for us to leave our normal classroom environment, to be creative and to use what we know to try to come up with a solution," Bitar said. And Kruse agreed, adding that coming up with a solution seemed like more than a business decision because it had broader impact on a global health issue.
Rutgers Pharmaceutical Management students have established a track record of winning case competitions, reflecting the strength of the education they receive in the program coupled with the experience they gain from internships at some of the leading pharmaceutical companies in the industry. Two years ago, the MBA Pharmaceutical Management Program also started its own biopharmaceutical case competition.
"Our program is new compared to many of the other schools," said Professor
Bitar said the case competition also gave the
"We finished among the people who are at the top and lots of them told us we were really in the best place if you want to get into the pharmaceutical industry because the companies are all here in
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