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Maria Bell, '11

Medical Director of Research and Development, Sanford Health

South Dakota

Nationality: American

"One way the program benefited my career was through the leadership courses. I am now trying to pull everyone in the same direction and break down the hierarchies in medicine."

The Fuqua Decision

There are MBA programs that are specifically aimed at physicians, but I didn't want to do one of those programs. I wanted to interact with people from different industries and countries to give me a more well-rounded learning experience and to build my network on a global stage. And I believe what I've built through my Fuqua network will help tremendously when I start to work in women's reproductive health internationally.

Fuqua's Global Executive MBA program is a life-changing experience. It provides the formal didactics needed to understand how to manage a business, but also combines an international component with the residencies. Cultural awareness is imperative to be successful in business, and Fuqua truly provides this education.

Medicine and the MBA

At first, I was a little nervous about how I would perform in class as I'd never taken a business class before. I soon found out that my past experiences were valuable, even though I come from a purely medical background. I was able to keep the team focused and not become distracted by irrelevant issues. And when things got tough, I would ask my team, "Did you have to tell anyone today that you have nothing else to treat their cancer, and that they would die soon?" It would definitely put things in perspective.

Through Professor Allan Lind's leadership class, I learned that exhibiting positive behavior is the best way to get the most out of your staff, and is the optimum approach for getting everyone to move in the right direction. I was able to immediately apply some of my leadership skills in the operating room. In highly stressful situations, surgeons can make negative comments toward their staff, which can result in an unproductive environment. I realized that I had to change some negative behaviors into positive ones. My staff has responded well to the changes I've made, and were awarded as the most improved in patient satisfaction.

MD/Mom/MBA Student

Balancing work, life, and school was sometimes tough. But within our small team at Fuqua we were able to make accommodations, adopting an attitude of "you help me and I'll help you." Being a single mom, I needed things to work smoothly at home. When I did my homework, my kids would do theirs with me. When they saw me getting my work done, I set an example on the importance of completing homework before having fun.