Q&A with Ryan Majkrzak, MBA '13
Ryan Majkrzak, MBA '13, is vice president of quality systems for Cameron Health, a Boston Scientific Company focused on medical device development and commercialization.
What made you want to pursue an EMBA program?
Over the last eight years, I've experienced the full life cycle of a medical device startup company: product development, clinical trials, commercialization, acquisition, and operations ramp-up. My background in engineering means I've primarily been focused on manufacturing and quality, but I wanted to round out my skillsets, develop an enterprisewide perspective, and further my career. Essentially, I wanted to gain a top-down general management perspective that would also allow me to understand the commercial, financial, and strategic aspects of business.
Why did you choose Ross?
It's funny — I actually started my search by crossing Ross off the list. I didn't have anything against the school, but I got my undergrad in engineering at Michigan and thought it would be good to diversify my resume. But after a lot of searching and consideration, Ross was the only school that had exactly what I needed: a great reputation, high rankings, the once-a-month format, dynamic and diverse classmates, and a well-rounded general management focus. I am extremely happy with my decision.
What's been the best part of the program?
The people — hands down. One of the unique aspects of the Ross EMBA Program is the variety of professionals it attracts. You're teamed up with an incredibly capable group of leaders who all have different viewpoints and backgrounds. For example, in my first-year team, we had a leader of creative services from a strategy consulting firm, an executive director of a community nonprofit, a COO from an industrial automation company, a radiation oncologist, and myself. Everyone brought so much to the table, which greatly enhanced the program. The professional diversity challenged us and kept us from stagnating in our comfort zones.
Has there been a specific professor or class that made a big impact on you?
It's hard to choose, but I got a lot out of the Professional Development Program (PDP). It's really what rounds out the EMBA curriculum. In the classroom setting, you learn the hard skills of business, but there are a number of "soft" leadership skills that don't get covered. PDP fills in that gap and provides many additional tools and skills. One of the most interesting presentations was from a symphony conductor who highlighted the nuances of body language as it applies to leadership. I don't know if I'll ever slouch again.
What did you take on for your ExecMAP experience? What was most memorable about it?
I chose a project that aligns with my background and future career goals, working with a team on a U.S. commercialization strategy for a startup medical device company. My teammates brought highly relevant but different backgrounds to the table, which provided great perspectives and opportunities for innovative solutions. What I came away with wasn't just a rewarding experience — I now have a story to tell about how I've been part of a core team to develop an actual commercialization strategy, not just a theoretical exercise. That's a new skill for me, and I wouldn't have developed it if it weren't for the EMBA Program and ExecMAP.
What advice would you give to prospective EMBA students?
Invest time before the program begins to identify exactly what you want to get out of the experience. It flies by so fast, and you're constantly presented with opportunities to deepen your learning on various topics, so you have to prioritize where to spend your limited time. If you know what you want going in, you'll recognize and take advantage of the opportunities most beneficial to you rather than just taking the "guided tour." I believe this allows you to extract the most value from the program in the end.
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