Andrew Knasiak (3rd from left, front row) next to Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Gary Branning at the Rutgers University 8th Annual Biopharmaceutical MBA Case Competition. (Photo: Fred Stucker)

Pharmacist reinvents his future with Rutgers MBA

Pharmacist Andrew Knasiak built a promising career with a fine future; however, he wanted a future with greater opportunities for professional development that would be more personally rewarding. “I didn’t have the business knowledge I needed to build on my healthcare experience,” Knasiak said.   He needed to reinvent himself for a wide-open career path.  To do so, he chose the Rutgers Business School Full-Time MBA.

“The main reasons I chose to go to Rutgers was I went to pharmacy school at Rutgers (sense of familiarity for me), the return on investment for quality of the program was unbeatable, and the connections to the pharmaceutical industry were unparalleled,” Knasiak said.  “Not only did Rutgers Business School exceed my expectations in term of results, it allowed me to develop amazing relationships with my classmates and alumni that I will stay connected with forever."

For the two concentrations required for the Rutgers MBA, he chose pharmaceutical management and marketing.  “Some of my biggest takeaways from the program include confidence in knowing that I can learn anything, work in teams with the broadest range of skills and perspectives, and together find solutions that individuals could not provide,” he said.

“Competing in the North Carolina State Grand Business Challenge with classmates Chandan Dhal, Andrew Guernier, and Setu Shah was an amazing real-world experience,” Knasiak said.  “It was a great example of the collaborative work ethic of the Rutgers MBA.”

“An unexpected outcome of the program was a mentor for life.  I took a course with Assistant Professor of Professional Practice Gary Branning, president of Managed Market Resources (MMR), a healthcare consulting and medical communications company,” said Knasiak.  “I was immediately impressed with Professor Branning’s knowledge and experience; I began talking with him during office hours and that just naturally grew into a mentoring relationship.  I am confident that this will continue for years to come.”

“A course that I think everyone should take is Aggregate Economic Analysis with Professor Farrokh Langdana.  I have a much clearer world view and understanding of our interconnected global economy from that class,” Knasiak said.

As for managing the Full-Time MBA program while continuing to work approximately 25 hours a week, Knasiak said the first term was the most challenging.  “Adding corporate interviews and presentations to my workload was definitely a challenge, but Assistant Dean and Director Dean R. Vera and the entire MBA Office of Career Management were amazingly helpful,” Knasiak continued. “Vera was invaluable in ‘coaching me up’ to make points with corporate representatives beyond my degree and experience.”

“With the knowledge and skills I gained in the program, and the corporate connections of the OCM, I was very hopeful of elevating my career path.  After a ten-week internship with Bristol Meyers Squibb last summer, I secured a position with them starting after graduation in their Commercial Leadership Development Program,” Knasiak said.

Knasiak is very excited to start this next exciting phase of his career.

-Sean Ireland

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