Pivot from med student to biotech exec

It was a career changer’s fantasy come true. When Kandis Meinders (MBA13) approached a dream employer at an MBA job fair, the recruiter couldn’t wait to schmooze her. Tippie career staffers, who spotted that her unique background fit the health care firm perfectly, had shared her resume in advance.

The matchmaking led straight to an internship and then a post-graduation job offer. It also confirmed what Kandis suspected when she chose the University of Iowa for business school: a successful switch from medicine to business required the personal coaching and close connections Iowa was famous for.

Learn about three ways the Iowa MBA set up Kandis for career success as a biotech leader—and beyond.

#1: Resume prep

The business world demands crisp, concise resumes, not the jargon-filled CVs aspiring doctors write. For Kandis, the overhaul meant slashing six pages down to one. Career services coached her through several revisions to make her resume catch her future employer’s eye.

#2: Interview prep

“In medicine, interviewers want to know about your certifications and what you’ve done in the lab,” Kandis says. “In business, it’s not about what you’ve done but how you’d react in certain situations.” Determined to grow comfortable with behavioral interviews that seemed so foreign, she took advantage of Tippie’s coaching: in class, in the career center, and in mock interviews with alumni.

“I now realize that interviewing is not about whether I’m qualified or not. It’s about conveying that I’m qualified,” she says. “I was never nervous for a single interview because of all the practice I did.”

#3: Networking

Direct referral to eager recruiters wasn’t the only proof that the Iowa MBA connects students to success. She was impressed by the 98 percent job-placement rate and an alumni body that’s 46,000 strong. She took advantage of the chance to link up with fellow MBAs through clubs like the MBA Association (Kandis was president) and case competitions (her team took first place in the Big Ten Case Competition).

But the relationships aren’t all business. When Kandis relocated to Chicago to join the health care practice at A.T. Kearney, the global consulting firm, she heard from Tippie friends within a week.

“I heard from people in Chicago who wanted to get together,” Kandis says. “I still hear from Tippie friends all the time. There’s definitely a family feeling.”