Our Stories

Building Her Community

With MBA, pediatric nurse moves toward leadership roles.

Nora Sultan
Redwoods Associate, DaVita

Vanderbilt MBA 2022

Nora Sultan had launched a successful career as a pediatric nurse, serving in clinical settings that included children’s hospitals and a camp for children with chronic illnesses. Her experience as a travel nurse, she says, was particularly informative for her professional development.

“I learned that I enjoyed figuring out how different health systems operated,” she explains. “I realized I wanted to be part of the leadership team that makes decisions that affect patients and clinicians.”

That insight in turn led Nora to Vanderbilt. “Nashville is a leading healthcare city in the United States,” she says. “I knew I wanted to start building my community in Nashville, and I was drawn to the close community and small class sizes at Vanderbilt.”

The small, supportive community provided an environment where Nora felt comfortable branching out. She helped launch the first annual healthcare case competition at the school. “My hope is that in the future, we will pull in other healthcare business programs to compete,” she says. “Vanderbilt has a strong healthcare program, but there are so many other opportunities for growth here, and the case competition was just the start.”

Along with a classmate, Nora also launched a podcast called MBA Ladies—“to talk through our experiences as women in a business program,” she says. “The platform gave us a great opportunity to get to know our classmates and professors, but also to have difficult conversations about gender inequities in a safe space.”

That ‘safe space’ extended to the program’s design. As one example, she explains, “I felt comfortable collaborating with my professors—such as my independent study with Professor Ranga—in a way that I did not experience in my undergraduate career.” She credits the Leadership Development Program with giving her “the opportunity to try out new leadership techniques in a safe space and to build confidence in my leadership style. My training as a nurse had limited communication training opportunities, and the program allowed me the chance to build on my professional communication skills.

“The mod system is set up in a way that allowed me to explore a variety of areas of coursework. I am confident that I have strengthened my understanding in a wide range of business topics. I am grateful that Owen offers such a variety of concentrations.”

Fun Fact: Nora enjoys hiking and traveling to national parks.

I felt comfortable collaborating with my professors in a way that I did not experience in my undergraduate career.