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Betty Chu

Q&A with Betty Chu, MBA '13

Betty Chu, MBA '13, is a physician in private practice and the medical staff president at Beaumont Health System, where she represents and advises more than 1,100 physicians. Throughout her career, she has maintained an active interest in healthcare policy and physician advocacy.

What made you want to pursue an EMBA program?

Healthcare is changing rapidly. In 2008, our health system was challenged by the economy, and one of the many strategies we employed was to get physicians on the board of directors. Right now I'm on the finance committee, where I'm employing many different skillsets that a typical physician wouldn't rely on. When you're involved in leadership with such a large system, you need to understand business fundamentals — things like finance and accounting. I knew that to be a successful leader and change agent, I had to expand my education beyond medicine.

Why did you choose Ross?

As a full-time physician and medical staff president, I didn't have time in my schedule to commit to a traditional MBA program. The once-a-month format has been ideal for me. Ross' reputation is undeniable and widely recognized, and as a physician, I'm really differentiating myself with an MBA.

What's been the best aspect of the program for you so far?

My cohort has been amazing. Because everyone comes from varied professional backgrounds, you learn so much about different industries, which in turn teaches you about your own industry. When I was in medical school, everything was very didactic. But here, I'm learning in a completely team-based environment and seeing different ways of solving problems. When you have accountants and physicians in the same room, it's incredible what you can learn.

How have the faculty been? What have you learned from them?

I've been pleasantly surprised by how accessible they are. You can have lunch with them or approach them with a question about your work, and they're always open and willing to help you troubleshoot. It's very clear that they're also interested in learning, not just teaching. The program is so dynamic, and you really get a sense that they're trying to keep things relevant and fresh.

What have you gotten out of the Professional Development Program (PDP)?

PDP gave me a 360-degree view of leadership. As a physician, I've been in practice for 17 years. Traditionally, this was a fairly autonomous role, but things are changing. We're at a point where we're working more in teams and getting more feedback through surveys, scoring, and our peers. PDP helped me identify my blind spots and build upon my strengths.

What did you take on for your ExecMAP experience? What was most memorable about it?

For ExecMAP, I worked with the Cleveland Clinic, a world-class health system. Initially, I wanted to branch out of my field for ExecMAP — maybe with an organization like Habitat for Humanity or even Microsoft in Puerto Rico, because I thought learning from other industries would be a great experience. But when push came to shove, the opportunity to work with an organization that's so reputable, fully evolved, and notorious for innovative problem solving was something I couldn't turn down. Being immersed in the culture at Cleveland was incredible. They view problems not as roadblocks, but opportunities to do things differently and better. Truthfully, I don't think I could have gotten this opportunity from any other program or school.

What's the one piece of advice you'd give to prospective students?

I had this piece of advice passed down to me from a mentor who graduated with an MBA from another top-ranked school: take time to build and leverage your network. My mentor said she didn't spend enough time with her cohort, and now she regrets it because her network isn't as strong as it could be. When you're at a school like Ross — where the caliber of people you meet is astounding — you have to take advantage of that. Spend time nurturing your relationships and fostering new connections. You won't regret it.

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