Student Voices

Michael Silverstein

Michael Silverstein

MBA'17, Corporate Finance Track

"The opportunity to specialize in a specific field in my second year of studies was certainly valuable, but I credit the first-year curriculum for giving me a set of fundamental business skills that are applicable across any industry and job function."


Q:Where is your hometown?

A:Denver, CO

Q:What are you studying at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business and what is your graduation year?

A:MBA, Corporate Finance, 2017

Q:What do/did you do in your corporate residency? What are/were your responsibilities? How did you impact the business?

A:Senior Financial Analyst, IBM Watson Health. My ongoing work focused on revenue forecasting for products in our Oncology and Life Sciences verticals (applying AI to cancer treatment guidance and drug development). However, in the process of learning to be effective in that role, I developed an in-depth understanding of the business from end to end. By the end of my residency, I was able to offer executives insights on key strategic and operational decisions. I also had the chance to work with other MBA residents on a company-wide business transformation project.

On a basic level, I learned a great deal about using excel for business purposes, financial models, and got a great chance to understand how corporate finance contributes to the success of a business. I was also able to gain familiarity with the dynamics of the healthcare industry, which was a major part of my decision to start my post MBA career as an internal consultant at Yale-New Haven Health System. And more broadly, I got the chance to learn how to adapt the collaborative and interpersonal skills I learned through music to a business context.

Q:What skills are you building at D’Amore-McKim that you are using in your corporate residency or will use in your future career?

A:I decided to concentrate in corporate finance, so the skills I’ve developed the most have been related to financial modeling and business strategy. One of the great things about this program is that it also focuses on developing the ability to thrive in a corporate setting. My corporate residency was made drastically more valuable by my ability to get my co-workers to involve me in high-level projects. On some level, that’s a personal trait, but our first semester core curriculum included an organizational and human behavior class, and a career management seminar, both of which help to develop that skill.

Q:What has been the biggest take-away from working toward your MBA at Northeastern? What can you do today that you couldn't do before you started your MBA?

A:I think what’s most impressive to me about the MBA program is the breadth of fields with which I have familiarity. While the opportunity to specialize in a specific field in my second year of studies was certainly valuable, I credit the first-year curriculum for giving me a set of fundamental business skills that are applicable across any industry and job function. So the biggest takeaway would be the fact that I have the necessary skills to begin to grapple with practically any business challenge.

Q:What has been your most valuable experience so far?

A:The residency is vital, of course. But beyond that, I think the hidden gem of this program is the student body itself. In a program of 70 students per graduating class, everyone knows everyone, and everyone is very supportive of each other’s success. Going out into the working world already having a network of people who are not just acquaintances on LinkedIn, but actual friends whose strengths I can vouch for, is a great position to be in.

Q:Why did you choose D'Amore-McKim?

A:I knew that, as someone with a background in a very non-traditional field for an MBA candidate (music), I needed to pick a program that gave me the opportunity to get hands-on business experience, so D’Amore-McKim’s corporate residency program presented an ideal fit.

Q:What would you say to a prospective student considering D’Amore-McKim for their business degree?

A:I’d tell them first of all that if their preferred learning style is hands-on and experiential, this is a great fit. And I’d tell them, if they’re not sure what to do, come visit and sit in on a class. If at all possible, try to see a class you don’t think you’ll be interested in. This program has a magical way of taking topics that you wouldn’t expect to find interesting, and then making them engaging and compelling. I started off dreading the very concept of accounting, and it wound up being my favorite class. So come check out a class, talk to the students, and let that experience inform your decision.

Q:Where do you see yourself in 5 - 10 years?

A:Hopefully in a position where I get to grapple with big picture challenges. Right now, healthcare is in a state of considerable flux, and it’s a space where I get to use the business skills I’ve learned to have a substantial positive impact on people’s lives, which is a priority for me.


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