Alisha Ahmed '17

I decided to pursue Clarkson University’s PharmD/MBA dual degree program because I knew it would give me a competitive advantage for my career.

Postdoctoral fellowship programs within the pharmaceutical industry — especially those focused on the commercialization of drug products — are becoming increasingly competitive. I truly believe that earning my Healthcare Management MBA at the same time as my PharmD helped me stand out among the ever-growing candidate pool. It showed my employer that I was proactive in understanding all aspects of the drug development business. 

After completing my fellowship, I transitioned into a full-time role with Seattle Genetics, a biotechnology company that develops targeted therapies for cancer treatment. Right now, I work in healthcare provider marketing as a product manager, and my job is to help get our therapies into the hands of patients who need them. While pharmacy school provided me with the clinical knowledge and scientific acuity needed in this industry, the MBA program at Clarkson helped me sharpen my business acumen to really distinguish myself as an emerging leader.

I really enjoyed that I could take many of my MBA classes at the Capital Region Campus and meet with my professors and peers in person. I also had the flexibility of taking online classes when it was harder for me to make it to campus during busy semesters at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Toward the end of my MBA program, I completed a capstone project with the guidance of a Clarkson faculty advisor. My capstone was focused on understanding the social and environmental drivers of health disparities within Upstate New York. By applying what we learned from the program, my team was able to gather valuable insights from market research and deliver actionable recommendations to our client. It was a great project, and I had fun working on a team to accomplish a specific end goal.

I would definitely recommend the PharmD/MBA program for anyone interested in completing a fellowship or pursuing a career within the pharmaceutical industry. After all, obtaining a fellowship is becoming increasingly competitive, and having an MBA to supplement your PharmD degree is a significant advantage.

As for me, I really love what I do, and I definitely plan to continue along this career path. Ultimately, my job is to help patients with unmet medical needs, and that’s what’s important to me. I am thankful to my professors and mentors at Clarkson University for helping me get to where I am today.