Poets & Quants for Executives 2020 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Jeffrey S. Jhang
This story by JEFF SCHMITT was originally published July 26, 2020 on Poets & Quants for Executives
Jeffrey S. Jhang
“I am curious, intelligent, and hard-working.”
Hometown: Eastchester, NY
Family Members: Wife: Marina Jhang; Children: Cara, 19, Emi, 16, Alexander, 6.
Fun fact about yourself: I really like cows.
Undergraduate School and Degree: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Science and Engineering
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Medical Doctor
Where are you currently working?
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Health System
Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:
1993 Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering Honor Society)
1994 Sigma Xi (The Scientific Research Society)
1995 National Institute of Health Research Fellowship Award
1997 Mount Sinai School of Medicine Basic Sciences Achievement Award
2000 College of American Pathologists Fall Informatics Award
2001 College of American Pathologists Spring Informatics Award
2009 College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University: Dr. Joseph G. Fink Laboratory Medicine Faculty Teaching Award
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Vice-Chair, Department of Pathology
Medical Director of Center for Clinical Laboratories
Director, Transfusion Medicine and Cellular Therapy
Columbia University Medical Center
Director of Special Hematology and Coagulation Laboratory
Assistant Director, Transfusion Medicine
College of American Pathologists
Member, Standards and Instrumentation Resource Committee
Inspector, Laboratory Accreditation Program
Inspection Team Leader, Laboratory Accreditation Program
Member, Standards Committee
AABB (formerly the American Association of Blood Banks)
Member, Information Systems Committee
Chairman, Coding and Reimbursement Committee
Liaison, Blood Banks and Transfusion Standards Program Unit
Member, Coding and Reimbursement Committee
Member, National Blood Foundation Grants Review Committee
Annual Meeting Abstract Review Committee
Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute
Member, Subcommittee on Instrumentation (CLSI document GP31)
Contributor, Area Committee on Hematology, Subcommittee on Determination of Factor Coagulant Activities (CLSI document H48)
Member, Area Committee on Hematology, Subcommittee on Collection, Transport, Processing of Blood Specimens for Testing Plasma-Based Coagulation Assays (CLSI document H21)
Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy
Collection Facility Inspector
Member, 5th Edition FACT Collection Facility (Apheresis) Standards Subcommittee
Association of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists
Member, Membership Committee
Member, Website Committee
Annual Meeting Abstract Review Committee
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? At the end of February 2020, we had our first Covid-19 patient in New York. Since then, everyone’s life has been turned upside down, including mine. As a physician, vice-chair, and medical director, I have been working 18- 20-hour days setting up diagnostic testing for suspected Covid-19 patients; collecting and transfusing convalescent plasma for the treatment of deteriorating Covid-19 patients; and developing and obtaining FDA approval for an anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test that will be used to help re-open the country. I am really proud that I have been able to find the strength to learn and contribute to my teams’ projects despite the demands of leading these efforts. I can’t say I have been the ideal student, but I am proud of trying during these difficult times. I am thankful to my family, Professor Farrokh Langdana, the Rutgers EMBA program director, my EMBA classmates, co-workers and professors for working with me and providing the understanding, support, and friendship to be successful. Without them, I could not have accomplished the achievements at work and school.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Education has been a passion of mine since high school when I tutored algebra and biology. In college, I tutored courses in electrical engineering at MIT and taught CPR and first aid for the American Red Cross. During medical school, I taught histology to medical students. As a junior faculty member, I directed a clinical pathology course for fourth-year medical students and taught residents and fellows. I now lecture at national meetings, provide comments as a guest physician on television and the news, contribute to the medical literature, and publish widely read textbooks.
Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? After attending an Open House for the EMBA program at Rutgers Business School, I was really impressed with the number and the quality of the EMBA students with backgrounds in medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. More importantly, Program Director Farrokh Langdana clearly showed that he cared about the students’ well-being and their success academically and in their careers. For example, I could tell that he truly wanted me to be in the right place when he connected me with several current students and alumni with similar goals who could help me determine if Rutgers was the place for me.
What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I loved meeting smart, talented people from different industries and learning from different life and work experiences.
What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? As someone who recently moved from a role that was predominantly operations to one that involved strategy and leadership, I was always mindful that operational efficiency is not strategy, something I learned in strategy taught by Barry Karafin. In order to make the greatest impact on my institution, I set aside time each day to contemplate strategy rather than trying to operate incrementally better.
Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? Juggling family, work and education often required sacrifice. All the important activities can’t always be juggled successfully. For example, one weekend, I spent a few hours with my family on a Friday evening, but did not see them for the rest of the weekend. I had Saturday classes from 8:30 until 5:00 and drove immediately afterward to catch a flight from Newark to Boston. I had to skip Sunday classes to give a lecture at the AABB national meeting. I missed two days of the meeting after the lecture because I had to return to work on Monday.
What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? Each graduating class seems to have a different character, so make sure you choose a program director with a good history of putting good teams together. You don’t get to pick your classmates, but you pick the director who picks the people you will spend many intense weekends together.
What is the biggest myth about going back to school? “Going back to school after being out for so long is going to be so very hard!”
We all hear this, especially those of us who have indeed been “out of school” for a few years. In my case, it was a myth. I have always had one foot in academia, so to speak – I am frequently attending lectures, learning new material, teaching, presenting at conferences, publishing, and so on. Given this, starting the Rutgers EMBA program was not a difficult transition for me.
What was your biggest regret in business school? I have no regrets. I often quote this line from the musical “Rent”: “Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other path, no other way, no day but today.”
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? I admire J.D. English because he has integrity. Not just in the sense of being honest and of good character, but he is whole – intelligent, responsible, hard-working, hard-playing, friendly, humorous, and supportive. And soon to be a great father. Congratulations JD!
“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I knew I wanted to go to business school when I noticed that medical directors in medicine increasingly required skills to interface with hospital administration on budgets, staffing, corporate relationships, and supply chain.”
What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I dream of being a medical correspondent on a daytime talk show. Maybe Dr. Oz could hire me to talk about laboratory testing, stem cell therapies and other topics a couple of times a month.
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I would like to be remembered as hard-working and intelligent, but not too serious.
What are the top two items on your bucket list? My next goals are to brush up on my guitar and to learn how to play the bagpipes.
What made Jeffrey such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?
“It was the darkest period of the Covid-19 Crisis in the New York/New Jersey area. The number of cases had reached record levels. We were at Covid “peak.” It was a terrifying time here in the Northeast. And then came the email from Rutgers EMBA Jeffrey Dodson, informing me that his classmate, Dr. Jeffrey Jhang, physician, vice chair and medical director at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, was just on the Today Show! He was interviewed because he was heading a team at Mt. Sinai that was developing a new test with the potential to fight Covid-19. And I, the director of the Rutgers EMBA program, had no idea.
Some years ago, Jim Collins wrote a best-selling book on leadership, Good to Great, in which he defines a “Level 5” leader as one with infinite drive and determination, and someone who is also immensely modest and unassuming. Our Dr. Jeffrey Jhang simply has to be the quintessential Level 5 leader.
Working 18- to 20-hour days, designing and setting up diagnostic tests, and at the same time trying to find a treatment for Covid-19 by transfusing convalescent plasma for the treatment of deteriorating Covid-19 patients would be more than enough for normal humans. In addition, simultaneously developing and obtaining FDA approval for an anti-SARS-CoV-2 would be “beyond maximum.” But not this man. On top of all this, Jeffrey found time to thrive and excel in his EMBA program.
While doing my undergrad in engineering at IIT in India, we all looked up to MIT as the “inner temple” of engineering on the planet. Jeffrey graduated as an electrical engineer from MIT and was good enough to tutor courses in that discipline while at MIT. He then made the massive, difficult, and highly successful switch to healthcare where he not only is a physician but also a senior administrator and a high-level researcher who actively publishes and presents at conferences. He is also an exceptional student in Rutgers EMBA – the Powerhouse.
If someone asked me, “What could a person like Jeffrey, who is already racing up in his career, possibly ask for?” My response would be “time.” Jeffrey tells us he “really likes” cows and wants to learn how to play bagpipes. I hope and pray that our Jeffrey gets a holiday in Scotland – in the Highlands. There are plenty of really cool cows, and, oh, the bagpipes!”
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