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Coming Back to a Healthcare Capital

Niranjan already knew where to look for the MBA she wanted

Sumedha Niranjan
Senior Consultant, Advisory Services (Health), EY

Vanderbilt MBA 2020

After working in healthcare for six years, Sumedha Niranjan knew she needed an MBA. “Without it,” she says, “I would hit roadblocks as I tried to move up the corporate ladder.”

She also knew where to pursue an MBA with a focus on healthcare and strategy. She had gained more than half of her healthcare experience in Nashville, in positions focused on clinical excellence with Hospital Corporation of America. As a result, she knew the city and had built a strong network of contacts during her four years with HCA. “Moving back to Nashville,” she says, “was an opportunity to rekindle those relationships and take advantage of Nashville’s thriving healthcare ecosystem.”

Her time in Nashville had also familiarized Sumedha with Vanderbilt. She chose the school, she says, for its “strong healthcare curriculum.” In her positions at HCA and, later, with Kaiser Permanente in the Bay Area, she had also come to know a number of Vanderbilt graduates—which, she says, “really helped shape my opinion of the university and type of education I would get while pursuing my graduate degree.”

Early in her first year, Sumedha discovered that the program wasn’t quite what she had expected. It was far more. “Healthcare Immersion Week,” she says, “took what I thought I knew about healthcare and knocked down each of my preconceived notions one by one, in the best way possible. They curated an exceptional lineup of speakers, companies, and observational opportunities, covering the bases of provider, payer, health technology, ambulatory surgery, home health, and hospice. [Healthcare] Immersion Week is unlike any experience one could ever hope for so early in their career, as it is rare to interact so closely with some of the country’s leading healthcare executives over the course of a few days.”

While remaining “passionate about improving healthcare delivery and patient outcomes”—and focused on continuing her career in that field—Sumedha says that Vanderbilt has also expanded her thinking. “Getting my MBA,” she says, “has allowed me the space to think more broadly about how I want to grow and be a leader.”

Fun Fact: Six years ago, Sumedha began a tradition of spending January 1 in a different city each year. Besides Nashville, she has rung in the new year in Philadelphia, New York, London, Tel Aviv, and Montreal.

Healthcare Immersion Week took what I thought I knew about healthcare and knocked down each of my preconceived notions one by one, in the best way possible.