Today I found out that I was accepted into Northwestern University’s Master’s program in Public Policy and I will be starting classes within a month. Many have wondered just why I would absorb the cost of another degree, and what were my plans with adding another degree to my war chest. I’ve always found an interest in policy decisions, the effects, and how it relates to business and economics. Working on several political campaigns, talking with many politicians, and serving on several exploratory committees, I have had many opportunities to add value and position myself as a resource within these discussions. Without a sound understanding of the policy implications, I felt I was leaving quite a bit of opportunities on the table.
I have also noticed a strong connection between community service organizations, public and private sector, and civic organizations. These institutions are all interconnected and I feel that it’s tough to be highly successful without understanding all sides of the interests of all parties. You learn in your basic negotiation course that understanding the other side is the key to any deal, and one aspect of business that I do not feel comfortable with is how potential policy decisions can impact my business. I also feel that the entrepreneurial spirit is needed in the public sector as well, with tremendous opportunities to take advantage of, even on a part-time basis.
Ultimately, I am doing this because I want to make a difference. I think it’s also advantageous to become part of the political process and serve as my own lobbyist, by being aware and involved. I think that many people in positions of power do not have a holistic understanding of the issues that affect our communities. There our issues that I encounter on a regular basis as an entrepreneur, that I wish were better represented in the law/policy making process, especially with the current state of things.
With this pursuit of a degree, I am not slowing down anything with regards to my professional pursuits. I am just managing a portfolio of opportunities, all with different life cycles and growth trajectories. I’ve recently learned the importance of listening and trusting myself, and that slow and steady wins the race, in regards to entrepreneurship. Everyone dreams of YouTube-like growth, but it’s a slow growth process to transform something from a working prototype, to a fully-fledged opportunity. I believe in the value of these endeavors and will continue to work diligently on a daily basis to move these things forward.
It’s just another thing to budget into the day, and I am thankful that I have the flexibility to be able to do this. Lately, I have received a tremendous amount of help and support on a daily basis from my family, as well as Kristen Nicole, Joseph Curalli, Jason Camp, David Burns, Jonathan Cambry, Gavin Tuckett, and Chip Dorsey, who I work with on a daily basis from a professional standpoint to make these opportunities happen. Without them, this would be too daunting of a task. I’m excited and I know I will emerge from this as a more prepared entrepreneur.
In the next couple of weeks, I have another set of cool professional updates, which will complement this announcement.
Update 3-21-09: I decided that I wanted to publish my personal statement for wanting to receive a Master’s degree in Public Policy.
Statement of Purpose
The economics of health care have always fascinated me, as the model has no parallel. The issues of equitable access to health care and the policies impacting various populations are of interest. The mission is more than utilitarian: demanding the most service, of the highest quality, at the least cost, for the largest population. The evolution of population based medicine has been a natural component of health care’s economic evolution. Policy plays a key role in the ability of organizations to manage their capital structure, within mandated constraints, in such a way as to be able to fulfill the mission of providing service to the greatest extent possible, with steadily shrinking resources. We are at a critical juncture in the history of the United States, and we need innovative, evidence-based strategies and intervention to facilitate the policy-making process, especially in health care.
I have a unique background that has enabled me to have a fairly holistic view of many of the issues, but lack the theoretical policy framework. I have participated in community service organizations that aim to address the health care crisis. I have worked in investment banking, in charge of many health care related corporations. My father is an Emergency Room physician and my mother is a Registered Nurse, which gives me insight into issues that impact one’s access to health care. I founded a company, SavvyDoc, which aims to eliminate many of the costs incurred in the health care operational model through technology. Completion of my MBA coursework at Kellogg School of Management, has given me invaluable insight into the business of health care. Personal inquiry and a sense of urgency about gaining understanding about fundamental policy issues, why they were created, and how it effects the institutions involved are the impetus for application to the graduate program in Public Policy.