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February 23, 2023

Clinical research coordinator for a startup biomedical device company

Seattle, Washington

Briefly introduce yourself and describe your educational and professional background prior to enrolling the GBA program.
My name is María Cardona González. I received my medical degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes (Mexico). I have always been fascinated by how the human body works. No matter how advanced medicine has evolved, we still do not know enough. After coming to the U.S., I conducted research on women’s health issues as well as dermatology, gastroenterology, and liver diseases. Currently, I work for a startup biomedical medical device company.

What drew you to the Global Business Administration program?
During my time in research, I had an “aha moment” when I realized that the patients I saw were coming back with the same problems, year after year. I realized that single efforts to help patients were not going to solve the causes of their problems, so I decided to embark on another challenge. I obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH), which opened my eyes to the deep-rooted problems of some of the most common diseases, and to become aware of the multitude of disparities in healthcare. I also questioned why so many public health programs are launched and yet few changes occur. I then recognized the impact economics have on the world of medicine and public health. Being aware of systemic healthcare problems from the economic perspective, and seeing how research and hospitals operate as businesses, I knew that I needed to pursue an international business program. The Fletcher School at Tufts University was the answer to what I was looking for in a business program because medical and public health problems have no borders.

What experience has stood out as one of the most challenging in your professional career?
I have experienced many challenges in my career, but one extraordinary one was taking and passing the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination to become certified to enter a medical residency in the United States, and then deciding to redirect my career to pursue an MPH and then the GBA. To make a significant impact on the world, I know that I need to harness the knowledge acquired from the GBA program and apply it to my future professional career.

What skills are you looking to develop during your time at Fletcher?
I just started my second semester and have completed two classes thus far. I am looking forward to learning how to more critically analyze new problems in the field, using data and decision analysis to identify solutions more strategically. I also look forward to learning more from my classmates. We come from so many different backgrounds, and it is refreshing to hear others’ perspectives and points of view in the classroom.

Tell us about a classroom experience that was particularly enriching for you personally.
I never would have imagined that the International Strategy and Innovation class would be so essential. It was an eye-opening experience for me as I now recognize that strategy is paramount to any business, be it a large hospital or a vendor on a street corner, and it is important to look at all enterprises through a strategic lens.

Do you have a quote, saying, or personal mantra that has been helpful along your professional journey?
I have many quotes from which I regularly draw inspiration, an important one being: “Never give up.” The reason this little quote about “stick-to-itiveness” inspires me is because I recognize that all the successes in my life and career are because I have never given up, no matter what challenges presented themselves. Through perseverance, I found solutions that I would have never initially imagined.

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