Partnership between pharmaceutical industry and RBS ensures relevant curriculum produces top-talent graduates pharma companies need

Rutgers Business School celebrates 10-Year Anniversary of the Pharmaceutical MBA program

Just as the state of New Jersey is recognized as the nation’s principal pharmaceutical hub, Rutgers Business School (RBS) has evolved as an academic leader in pharmaceutical management training and research. Through partnerships with global companies Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eisai, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Novartis, Roche and Schering-Plough (now part of Merck), Rutgers has been offering a cutting-edge MBA in Pharmaceutical Management for 10 years.

Over the last decade, some of the most exciting advances in healthcare have been the result of pharmaceutical research and development. These life-enhancing discoveries have fueled amazing growth in this multi-billion dollar global industry, creating a new demand for talented, motivated individuals with a special knowledge of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry.

The Rutgers Pharmaceutical Management MBA has provided the industry a pipeline of talented managers, well-versed in health-care and pharmaceutical issues. One of the strengths of the program is that many executives from the pharmaceutical industry teach RBS students themselves, offering fresh, current and relevant industry knowledge.

“Where else can you supplement your MBA with regular interactions with industry professionals?” said Terry Davidson, Strategic Market Director, Centocor Ortho Biotech Services, LLC (part of Johnson & Johnson). “This is a competitive advantage for any students coming out of the program that embrace the interactions.”

Rutgers Business School’s partnership with industry has made it the leading school in pharmaceutical management. “All of the pharmaceutical companies involved with the program are highly engaged, extremely motivated and willing to cooperate to design the pharmaceutical management MBA curriculum to our industry’s specific needs,” said Bradley T. Smith, Director, Human Resources, Hoffmann-La Roche Inc, who has been involved with program since its initial concept in 1999.

Starting 10 years ago with 12 students, the program today has grown to 21 students per year, a 75% increase. In total, over 150 students have graduated specializing in pharmaceutical management, with nearly a perfect 100% job placement after graduation. And about 45% of all Rutgers Business School MBA graduates work in the bio-pharma sector, highlighting the university’s strong corporate partnerships with bio-pharma.

“This is a one of a kind MBA program geared specifically toward landing a job in the pharmaceutical and health care industry,” said Jesse Stromeyer, currently a second year MBA student. “I did a lot of research before coming to RBS and found that RBS is really unique with its major relationships with global companies.” Stormeyer will be starting fulltime in brand marketing at Bristol-Myers Squibb in July.

The Pharmaceutical companies recruiting from RBS have been thrilled with graduates coming out of the program. “RBS students that come out of the pharmaceutical management program rank among the top business schools across the country,” said Davidson. “Their understanding of the industry typically separates them from the other top business schools.”

The MBA in Pharmaceutical Management is headed by Dr. Mahmud Hassan, whose expertise in the pharmaceutical industry is well respected. Dr. Hassan recently published research in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing on whether mergers and acquisitions taking place in the pharmaceutical industry create shareholder wealth.

“What makes the pharmaceutical management program so special is to see how active our students and alumni are with student clubs, alumni clubs, organizing events, staying connected,” said Dr. Hassan.

With its emphasis on business, science, and technology, RBS is committed to providing students the hands-on training needed to succeed in the job market. “As a leading business school in pharmaceutical management, Rutgers Business School is focused on addressing the real-world management issues facing CEOs in the pharmaceutical industry,” said Michael R. Cooper, PhD, Dean and Professor, Rutgers Business School.

- Daniel Stoll

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