As a productivity improvement consultant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Gus Granchalek has a very different perspective on business from his fellow Booth classmates. In an industry where payment is highly regulated and is typically handled through the government or insurance agencies, hospitals present a very specific set of challenges. And while the beauty of a Booth education is the way it prepares you to tackle and analyze challenges in any industry, Gus also found some more unexpected ways to expand his learning.
First, Gus decided to supplement his MBA by working toward a Certificate in Health Administration and Policy from the Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP). The GPHAP is an interdisciplinary program that draws faculty and students from schools throughout the University of Chicago, including Booth, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Law School, and the School of Social Service Administration.
He also found a more direct way to utilize the expertise of his professors. “Class starts in the evening,” Gus explains, “and inevitably I would get done with work a half hour or an hour early.” Gus found that his professor, Sanjay Dhar, would also often come to class early with the purpose of meeting his students. “They are interested in you. They want to talk to you and find out who they’re teaching.” Professor Dhar, who was teaching marketing strategy, began a conversation with Gus about how hospitals could market themselves given their unique restrictions. “Over the course of three or four weeks we picked apart hospital marketing,” Gus recalls. “It was like the class within a class.”
Finally, Gus assembled a team and participated in the Biotech and Health Care Case Competition. The national competition required teams to evaluate a new drug that was being brought to market. “It was such an incredible confluence of the skills I had acquired,” he says. “To get a balance sheet, an income statement, and to be able to pick that apart and determine the value of the drug based on market trends and demographics was incredibly fulfilling.” The team ended up placing second in the competition, but Gus found that the true reward was much more personal. “I had learned all these things in the last 10 classes and I was actually able to apply them to a concrete situation. I thought, ‘This is an incredibly valuable education.’”
University of Illinois – Economics
Northwestern Memorial Hospital – Supply Chain Contract Associate
Northwestern Memorial Hospital – Productivity Improvement Consultant
Finance, General and Strategic Management
Admissions Committee, Health and BioPharma Club