2022 Best & Brightest Executive MBA: Nini C.Y. Wu, Georgia Tech (Scheller)

Nini C.Y. Wu

Georgia Institute of Technology, Scheller College of Business 

Age: 56

“Daughter, sister, wife, and mother who is deeply committed to lifelong learning and healthcare.”

Hometown: Hsin-chu, Taiwan

Fun fact about yourself: My favorite activity is preparing holiday meals with my family. We build the menu around a different country’s food culture to learn…and taste.

Undergraduate school and degree: McGill University: MD, CM (Doctor of Medicine, Master of Surgery; Specialty: Hematology, Medical Oncology)

Where are you currently working? Senior Vice-President, Strategic Initiatives, Corporate Strategy and Business Development at McKesson

Extracurricular activities, community work and leadership roles: I’ve served on school boards, children’s sports team support, cancer support groups, and cancer-focused fundraisers, and I’m most proud of my awards from patient advocacy groups.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Academically, I take great pride in being able to contribute and interact meaningfully with classmates in projects and debates. I believe I’ve taught them, as I have certainly learned from them.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Early in my career as a physician leader, I noted few women entering physician leadership in the oncology specialty network. I was the initial clinical leader of a group evaluating the need for leadership development, mentoring, and coaching, which continues in an evolved format today. Though not restricted by gender, race, or other differences, we focused on trying to bring greater diversity to future medical leadership, including the creation of a female physician professional group.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? This is a truly difficult question considering the caliber of the Georgia Tech Scheller Executive MBA faculty. However, Professor Frank Rothermael’s class on Strategic Management stands out for its superior pedagogy. The deeply researched content in his textbook, highlighted by his case studies, served as the base for thoughtful class discussions. What was taught in his fun and engaging style went above and beyond the readings, bringing additional value. Despite having worked professionally in corporate strategy for the past two years, his class gave me insights and a stronger structural foundation for management concepts.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? The Management of Technology focus offered by Georgia Tech Scheller stood out as an opportunity not found in the plethora of executive MBA programs available. The program is rigorous and the professors teach at a high level. Based on conversations with students from other programs, I’ve discovered that the professional support program is also deeper and more personalized.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? As I cross to the latter half of the program, I most appreciate the many perspectives that my MBA studies and interactions have offered me. Looking at my work through different lenses has made my analyses, communications, and conclusions richer and deeper.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family and education? There’s no single story; rather a constant weave of balancing needs of work, school, and family. With the needs driven by the COVID pandemic, the resources available to work from home, or really anywhere, have made it easy and expected to be “on” all the time. The challenge is ensuring connection with family and self. I am incredibly grateful for the support of my family; I’m sure I could not be successful in this endeavor without them.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program?  Be open to experiences. There are many opportunities, not only through classroom teachings but in the knowledge and experience of professors as advisors and classmates as colleagues whose work histories are different and valuable. Also, take some risks. After almost 20 years in clinical practice, I took a very different role without a formal business education and have not regretted it.

What was your biggest regret in business school? Due to time constraints, I could not leverage additional learning opportunities through active networking beyond class, joining organizations, and engaging with women’s groups.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? This is another tough question and one that I cannot answer in the singular. There are three women whom I have come to deeply admire and learn from with every interaction. They have all overcome work challenges in industries or companies where women are in the minority, creating opportunities for themselves and other women to follow.

Alejandra Barron, a marketing executive, is a planner who has curated her professional career, making the most of opportunities. She has helped me think differently about myself.

Larisa Joiner is a female CIO managing a global team. She is thoughtful and insightful; I listen when she speaks.

Adriane Rogers, one of my first teammates, is deeply dedicated to sustainability, access, and social responsibility. She inspires me.

What was the main reason you chose an executive MBA program over part-time or online alternatives? The Executive MBA program, with its intense, in-person components, offers greater opportunity to engage with classmates, which I believe to be an invaluable part of the experience.

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? My career has spanned almost two decades as a practicing oncologist during which time I also led a 40-physician group, effectively managing a business. I expanded to leading operations at senior VP level for oncology and primary care practices for over 300 physicians.

My current focus is strategic initiatives supporting oncology. As I look ahead at the forces affecting healthcare, I believe we will face challenges in human resources, training, and the access differential to technological innovations. My professional goal is to bridge the intersection of clinical needs, business, and technology to improve delivery and experience of cancer treatment and other healthcare.

What made Nini such an invaluable addition to the class of 2022?

“Nini was a fantastic student in my core finance course! Her prior work experience as an oncologist and now as an SVP of Strategic Initiatives significantly enriched class discussions. Over the course of the past year, I’ve had numerous discussions with Nini about how class concepts apply to her projects at work. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these discussions and ended up learning a great deal from her.”

Jonathan Clarke
Associate Professor, Finance
Georgia Tech, Scheller College of Business

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