An MBA opened many doors for Akanksha Kulshreshtha, MBA ’12. One of those doors is to a hospital. Not only did an MBA provide her with an ideal environment to cultivate and enhance her business acumen and skills, but it assisted her in developing confidence to interact, network with professionals in various industries and most of all, provided a platform to learn from esteemed colleagues and faculty members. Attaining her MBA helped her make the decision to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor.
As a second year medical student at the University of Toronto, Akanksha continues to apply various business fundamentals she learned during her MBA education. She is currently the VP Finance of the Medical Society and manages a portfolio of $270,000 to fund various student-run initiatives. She successfully restructured and optimized the expenditure tracking system to ensure that all student-club spending is monitored and overages are appropriately investigated and explained. Further, Akanksha is spearheading the task of incorporating the Medical Society and has played a major role in directing the investment policy for the Society’s liquid assets. She applied much of what she learned in courses such as Accounting, Finance and Organization Behaviour to ensure that appropriate accountability and transparency was maintained in all Medical Society activities.
While working with tight deadlines and handling multiple tasks, Akanksha has been able to become an effective project manager. Currently, she is involved in many research projects, which she is independently managing with the guidance from her supervisors. She is conducting a retrospective cohort study to determine the incidence of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in a population of Canadian women who have had Recurrent Early Pregnancy Loss. This involved creating a database on patient information and then analyzing the data using various statistical programs. She recently presented this research at a conference, won the best clinical research award, and is in the process of drafting a research paper for publication.
Akanksha is also involved in advocating on behalf of patients living with HIV/AIDS, and took on an active role in helping to change not only the quality, but also the accessibility of HIV care in the Region of Peel. She is working on a research project in conjunction with Peel HIV/AIDS Network. The aim of the project is to devise solutions for family physicians to improve their competence and comfort level when dealing with patients with HIV. This is to ensure that individuals living with HIV will be able to access a greater continuum of services, receive on-going physician support, and have improved access to anti-retroviral treatment.
Similarly, case-based and group projects in MBA courses encouraged Akanksha to take on leadership roles and promote effective collaboration in order to devise strategies and solutions. The majority of her groups were composed of individuals from various educational backgrounds and it was beneficial to explore diverse perspectives and at times, address dissimilar concerns. This is perhaps one of the most valuable experiences Akanksha was able to bring to her professional career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, as well as to her medical education at the University of Toronto. Going forward, Akanksha will continue to work on inter-professional healthcare teams and will have to juggle multiple perspectives and priorities when managing her patients’ health and well-being.
To be a successful physician you need to have strong communication skills, be analytical, and be solution-oriented in addition to having a strong medical background. The competencies in verbal and critical reasoning are equally important as the competencies in the field of medicine. Akanksha is confident that her MBA experience and knowledge make her a well-rounded and better-prepared medical student and future physician.
Akanksha Kulshreshtha is currently a second year Medical Student at the University of Toronto. She completed her undergraduate education in the Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours) program at McMaster University, after which she entered the MBA Co-op program at the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University. While at DeGroote, Akanksha completed all three co-op terms at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, as an Associate in the Audit & Assurance practice where she audited several Financial Institutions. She was in the process of completing her Chartered Accountancy examinations, when Akanksha decided to pursue her dream of becoming a physician.