Women's Network

Chicago Booth Alumni Special Interest Group

Sue Warshal, '04

Meet Sue Warshal, '04, whose career has focused on health care. Trained as a clinical psychologist, she earned her MBA to move into management and now is the director of a non-profit in the mental health field. Here Sue answers a few questions for CWIBAN about her experiences.

Q: What was your background before coming to Booth?

As a clinical psychologist, I was a non-traditional business school applicant. I had never taken a business class before attending Booth (known as GSB back in my day).

Q: Why did you choose to get an MBA? What did you get out of the experience?

Although I enjoyed the clinical aspect of psychology, I always had an interest in management and administration within the healthcare field. However, I didn’t have the formal business background. An MBA enabled me to learn core business and financial skills, while incorporating my interest in the healthcare field.

Q: Where did you head after graduation from Booth? What steps did you take to get to the career you have now?

My first job after business school was as a healthcare consultant, working within large hospital systems and academic medical centers. I was exposed to the operations and strategic planning of top medical organizations around the country. When I tired of the weekly travel, I obtained a mid-level management position at a national healthcare organization headquartered in New York City. Now I’m the Executive Director of a small non-profit within the mental health field. It’s a dream job for me, since I’m able to incorporate my business and psychology backgrounds. But I wouldn’t have been prepared for this position without my experiences within the larger corporate world of healthcare, which wouldn’t have been possible without the MBA.

Q: What advice do you have for students and fellow alumnae interested in pursuing a career in the non-profit world?

It’s vital to connect with the mission of the non-profit, not just the non-profit aspect of the organization. Most important is to gain experience in that mission, even if it’s from the for-profit world. In fact, experiences from for-profit organizations can positively influence many of the operations of a non-profit. If you feel passionate and have experience around the mission, the non-profit world will embrace the business perspective you bring.

Q: How has networking or mentorship impacted your career?

In particular, I am involved in networking groups geared towards professional women in non-profit. These women tend to be passionate about their chosen profession, as well as successful in business. I learn that these two are not mutually exclusive, which inspires me to strive for excellence within my own organization.

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