Executive MBA student Matthew Boyd (Class of 2023) is one of a growing number of students in Darden’s Executive MBA program with a background in healthcare. Boyd recognized that going back to school to pursue an MBA was a pathway to leadership positions and becoming fluent in the business side of the healthcare industry. In fact, 13 percent of the students in the current Executive MBA classes work in a healthcare-related industry
Boyd is the Lymphoma | Myeloid Medical Scientific Liaison for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Company, and says, “At an early age I understood that I wanted to be part of the academic community that delivered the best in-class oncolytic therapy to patients with the goal of providing targeted therapy that improves durable responses for patients.” Boyd recently shared insights on his Darden experience and how leveling up his business expertise is setting him up for career success.
Q: What’s your background?
A: I earned my Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from the Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy at Shenandoah University, then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Howard University where I focused my practice on oncology and psychiatric care. At an early age I understood that I wanted to be part of the academic community that delivered the best in-class oncolytic therapy to patients with the goal of providing targeted therapy that improves durable responses for patients.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue an MBA and how did you decide it was the right time?
A: As I surveyed the management landscape within health system administrations and pharmaceutical health care companies it became evident that the leaders within those organizations were not only trained medical experts, but a multitude were also MBAs. With this knowledge I understood that if I wanted to compete, I also would need to understand the commercial component of health system or pharmaceutical company management and not just the scientific component. This led me to speak with mentors and other trusted confidants to ask them their perception, the advice I received consistently sounded similar to this “Take advantage of the opportunity to learn more now so you can apply those learning to drive value to your patients and your organization later.”
Q: What led you to Darden? How did you decide that it was the right fit for you?
A: People, culture, and commitment to excellence. When I first began to research and strategize about which colleges or universities I would apply to I had a criterion that each had to meet. One, the university had to be focused on developing leaders and not just pumping out new students, Darden ranked at the top when it came to developing leaders. Second, the culture had to be inclusive and see me fully as an African American man, son, father, brother, medical expert, and most importantly fully human. UVA has not always gotten everything right, but what landed on me during the recruitment process was the openness to address historical university specific disparities and the partnership with the executive student cohort to fully hear and address their concerns. Lastly, Darden consistently ranks number one or close to number one in faculty and education experience, this is what excellence looks like. Darden was the only university with an Executive MBA offering that met my criterion.
Q: What has been the impact of your Darden experience so far?
A: Business acumen. In my current role as a Medical Scientific Liaison, my colleagues and academic health community partners know and rely on the scientific expertise that I exhibit, now I am adding business expertise to my repertoire. Adding business expertise will provide the opportunity to maximize value for my organization which in turn will benefit the oncology community that I serve because as Dr. Paul Janssen said, “The patients are waiting.”
Q: What is your best piece of advice for prospective students?
A: Be perceptive on your horizon. As you go through the process of applying to MBA programs have clear intent on how this investment in yourself helps you paint your horizon. With the understanding that each choice your make, defer, or don’t make adds a brush stroke to your horizon. Be intentional about painting the next stroke!