By Katie Bahr
Nikila Ravi’s career experience was almost exclusively in operations before she joined Vanderbilt’s EMBA program. Her undergraduate degree in industrial and operations engineering led her through progressive positions at multiple healthcare companies until she joined Banner Health in Phoenix, Arizona, working on the operations side of their innovation team.
“My job used a design-thinking model to create innovative, new solutions, prototype them, test them, and prove them out across the organization,” Ravi says. “It focused on how to innovate from a people, process, and technology perspective.”
Ravi began considering getting her MBA when she realized how much her work would benefit from a broader strategic and financial background. She credits the company culture at Banner for encouraging her to attain her degree while working.
“I always wanted to get an MBA, and when I started working for a disrupter and innovator in the healthcare space — one that has immense leadership support for higher education — the time felt right,” Ravi says. “Vanderbilt appealed to me as not only a great school with great faculty in the finance and strategy realms, but being in Nashville, I knew the healthcare industry would be a strong part of the curriculum.”
The theoretical knowledge Ravi gained during her EMBA allowed her to step out of her career-long operations focus and into a role leveraging business strategy and partnerships to innovate. Click through Ravi’s timeline below to see how she gained the knowledge and the confidence to transition to a new role in her company even before graduating.