Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Amrit Sandhu, Harvard Business School

“Father and ex-army trainee surgeon and documentary enthusiast pursuing an MBA at HBS.”

Hometown: Birmingham, UK

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have been a best man three times

Undergraduate School and Major:) Warwick Medical School (Medicine), Kingston University (Sports and Exercise Science)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: British Army, Medical Officer

What has been your first impression of the Harvard Business School MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best Harvard Business School story so far. I have been overwhelmed by how approachable and generous alumni and students have been with their time and advice. During the application process, there were a lot of alumni who gave up time to talk to me about their experience and give their advice on the application. The veteran’s network at HBS is also very supportive and they went above and beyond during the application process.

What makes the case method so attractive as a means to learn and become a better manager? The case method seems very intuitive to me as a doctor. When working and learning as a clinician you are presented with a problem and have to work through the issues to come up with a diagnosis and management plan. I feel as though the case method compliments this way of thinking and problem solving really well.

I am also really looking forward to learning from the perspectives of all of my classmates who will have completely different backgrounds to me. As someone who has worked in two public sector organizations (National Health Service and the Army), I feel as though I have a lot to learn about other industries and this will be accelerated by interaction with my classmates.

Aside from your classmates and cases, what was the key part of Harvard Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I’m moving out with my wife and one-year old son and this had a huge bearing on the courses I looked at. From speaking to people on the course, HBS seemed to be really family-friendly. I can honestly say we’ve already been blown away by the support network for partners and families since being accepted.

Another element that factored into my decision making was the biotech hub in Boston. There’s so much going on and it will be great to be near such a vibrant biotech scene as well as another great university in the area.

What course, club, or activity excites you the most at Harvard Business School? Naturally, the healthcare club piques my attention, but I am also excited about the tech club and all the sports on offer. There’s already a football (soccer) group set up and I can’t wait to play. I am also really excited about the trips being planned around the US and South America. We’re really excited to live on that side of the Atlantic and will take advantage of being close to so many amazing places.

When you think of Harvard Business School, what is the first word that comes to mind? Why? Global. HBS is a brand that is recognized by managers and leaders in any industry, anywhere in the world.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As part of a telemedicine trial for a military selection program for the British military. It was a real privilege to be part of a team that delivered a project that had a positive impact on the care patients received, reduced costs and became a template for what can be achieved in remote areas with a limited number of clinicians. The highlights of the project included seeing the infrastructure I helped design and implement being used to manage a seriously unwell patient remotely, and seeing a patient have their dislocated shoulder put back in place in the field under remote clinical supervision.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I loved my job as a doctor and interacting with patients. However, I recognized there are many issues that prevent widespread improvement in care for all and I wanted to scale up the impact I have by addressing some of these issues. It took me a while to acknowledge that I can still have a positive impact on a patient’s journey without being at the patient’s bedside. Once I had this realization, it felt natural to branch out and pursue an MBA in order to prepare for a significant career change. I love technology and can see how even simple technologies implemented the right way can have a significant impact on healthcare delivery and outcomes. I am hoping my time at HBS will broaden my thinking and understanding around the economics and other systems in play that factor into healthcare delivery around the world as well as being exposed to new and exciting industries.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I recently read What They Teach You at Harvard Business School (different to the book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School). It’s written by a British journalist, Philip Delves Broughton, who quits his career to go on the HBS MBA. If you are from a non-traditional industry like me, it will provide insight into the course from someone who has a similar perspective. It’s entertaining, informative and a bit of an insider’s view on the course at HBS.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? London Business School

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into Harvard Business School’s MBA program?Tough question as you never know what the adcom are looking for. The best bit of advice I had was around the essay. I was told to try and guide the admissions team through the key moments in my life that have led me to apply for an MBA. To do this, I think you need to reflect deeply about why it is you want to pursue an MBA. I would also not stress about trying to have a completely unique reason for wanting to pursue an MBA. From my discussions, many people have similar reasons for wanting to pursue an MBA, and it is their journey and the conclusions they come to through self-reflection that make them unique.

Beyond this, ask as many people as you can to look at your application. Others will read your application through a different lens and may offer a perspective you may not have considered. They may also remind you of things you have forgotten to mention. I used to discuss my application with my wife (a lot!) during the whole process and she would remind me of significant things I have done in my career that I had completely forgotten.

Good luck with your applications and feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn if you have any questions.

DON’T MISS: MEET HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL’S MBA CLASS OF 2024

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