2021 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Javi Virk, Southern Methodist University (Cox)

Javi Virk

Cox School of Business, Southern Methodist University

Age: 27

Focused, loyal, and driven by a passion for making a change in this world.”

Hometown: Plano, TX

Family Members: Raj (Dad), Shaleen (Mom), & Jay Virk (Brother)  

Fun fact about yourself: I actively go boxing and sparring in my free time.

Undergraduate School and Degree:  Southern Methodist University, BA Biology

Where are you currently working?  Arcadia Anesthesia Partners, Chief Operations Officer

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles:

* Chief Operations Officer: Arcadia Anesthesia, OrthoMed Staffing Anesthesia, and FairHealth Solutions Billing

* SMU Kyle D. Miller Scholar (2020-2021) & Energy Club Member

* SMU Co-Social Chair of EMBA Class & Student Ambassador

* SMU Business Plan Competition: First Place Prize

* SMU Beta Gamma Sigma

* Founder of KripaOne: Nonprofit focused on delivering healthcare to imprisoned women in India

* Agape Clinic: Volunteer Director

* Church Volunteer Member

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business schoolI am pleased to not only obtain my EMBA degree, but also simultaneously complete a Master of Science in Finance (MSF) degree at SMU, earning a 3.9 GPA in both of the programs. I utilized all the resources given to us by SMU Cox through meeting with the program coordinators to improve my presentation skills, attending over 63 Business Leadership Center Seminars, and receiving career coaching. In the process, I was able to capitalize on all resources available. Aside from academics though, as social co-chair of my class, I am most proud of the relationships and networking opportunities I have solidified over the last 20 months. I have become a trusted resource for my class. My goal was to connect with every member of our cohort for personal and professional reasons, strengthening the bond between our class overall. Despite the social distancing protocols, I have cultivated lifelong relationships to help our current, past, and future SMU Cox students.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? During the program, our anesthesia practice expanded, and I was granted the sole privilege of managing the exclusive anesthesia contract for an entire hospital here in Dallas, Texas.  Without the knowledge I gained here at SMU Cox, I could not have capitalized on my role. As a result, we are now expanding across the state of Texas, Arizona, and Georgia.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? All the professors at SMU Cox are by far world-class professionals. While they each provided a unique and personalized contribution to the program as a whole, Professor John Terry, who teaches entrepreneurship, stood out the most. Professor Terry’s class was challenging, informative, and pushed us all to utilize the strengths given to us from our entire EMBA program. The ability to apply all of our learnings culminated into one class. We were able to finish the program with the confidence that we genuinely mastered our teachings from all of our professors. The team I was part of  were also able to win first place in the annual Business Plan competition, hoping to take our project to the market.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? I specifically chose the SMU Cox School of Business’s EMBA program because of the world-class faculty and unparalleled network across the country. I realized the effect of the SMU network during my undergrad experience, but that lesson was solidified upon completing my Master’s here, too.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA, and how did you apply it at work? While mastering each of the subjects was crucial, I was able to directly incorporate organizational behavior and decision modeling into my company that helped build an insurmountable foundation for future success. In addition, by applying these learnings, I reduced costs, optimized operations, and expanded our company across state lines. Coming from a primarily healthcare-focused background, I realize that all of the lessons learned in business school can be applied to the workplace, across numerous industries.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you could juggle work, family, and education? In the middle of the program, my home was tragically destroyed in a fire. Balancing two Master’s programs, a full-time career, and the stress of being displaced for six months was the toughest challenge. However, my success was only possible through the help of my team and study group. The professors, classmates, the TAs, and the entire SMU community provided immense support to ensure my success with the program.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? What you put in the program is what you will get out of it. Take advantage of all avenues, teachings, and opportunities given to you to maximize your experience within the program. Don’t leave a program with any regrets, if you can manage the schedule, immerse yourself fully, you may not be awarded this opportunity again in the future.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? One of the biggest myths about going back to school is that students won’t do well if they have had a gap in their education. It is never too late to go back! In fact, every person in our class was employed full time, most with families. Still, everyone balanced it all, proving that the program can provide the tools for setting the foundation for success.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire?  I admire Jennifer Olvera from our cohort. Her ability to juggle four kids, a demanding full-time career, volunteering on non-profit boards, and never once missing or leaving a study group meeting early showed her unwavering commitment to our team and the program.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? I explicitly chose an Executive MBA program to leverage my classmate’s expertise and gain industry experience that cannot be attained otherwise. In addition, our cohort brings a wealth of knowledge and understanding that is only possible through SMU Cox EMBA program.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I ultimately want to own and run my hospital here in the DFW Metroplex.

What made Javi \such an invaluable addition to the class of 2021?

“Javi Virk was recommended to the EMBA program by his boss, Dr. Tu Dao, a previous Best & Brightest EMBA honoree, who graduated from the program just two years ago.  The Cox School was very fortunate to have such a distinguished alumnus refer such an up-and-comer entrepreneur/leader.

Enthusiastic and energetic, Javi started the EMBA program holding down two full-time positions, including being a co-owner of a wellness clinic.  One of his goal’s was time-management, and I’d say he’s mastered that concept. He is graduating second in his class, in spite of a daunting several months. One of his goals when he applied to the program was to “be involved in all team/group work.” Javi remained at the forefront of initiating networking/social events for his class.  In addition to all the COVD-19 issues affecting all students over the past 15 months, his home in Plano was struck by lightning during a storm and burned to the ground, forcing his family to live in a hotel over the past year. Amazingly, he never faltered throughout the EMBA program.

As Javi graduates, he has earned two degrees: his MBA and a Master of Science in Finance. He is the only Cox EMBA student ever to achieve this amazing feat. He also won honors from the Cox School’s Business Leadership Center for having attended the most seminars while in the EMBA program. He dreams of owning and running his own hospital someday. He’s met every other goal he listed for himself when he applied to the program. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll achieve this goal, too.”

Tom Perkowski
Assistant Dean, SMU Cox Executive MBA Program

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