Why Dr Patricio Sepulveda returned to school for an Executive MBA
Self-identified gaps in his business knowledge led Dr Patricio Sepulveda to study an MBA at Melbourne Business School.
A scientist by training, Chilean-born and raised Patricio completed an Executive MBA in 2016 and is now the Director of Business Development and Innovation at Melbourne Health.
After more than six years of working in the business side of health and research, Patricio said he knew he needed to pursue formal business education.
"I'd been working in business for a number of years and before I went to Melbourne Business School I didn't feel completely confident with my knowledge of finance and management, whilst I had picked up many concepts on my own I was aware that I didn't fully understand," Patricio said.
Patricio now works at Melbourne Health, one of Australia's leading public healthcare providers which delivers services through the Royal Melbourne Hospital, North Western Mental Health and Victorian Infectious Disease Research Laboratories.
In his new role, he co-founded the Melbourne Health STARTUP61 HealthAccelerator, a unique co-working space based at the Royal Melbourne Hospital designed for clinical-commercial collaboration to activate the entrepreneurial culture of researchers and clinicians and help validate external companies in a hospital setting.
The accelerator has just finished its first iteration and is seeking funding and support for new iterations in 2017.
Patricio said it was the calibre of the faculty and the delivery mode of the Executive MBA that sealed his decision to study at Melbourne Business School.
"I was looking at schools, not just for the program but also for the experience," Patricio said.
"I'm not from Melbourne so I wanted to access and create a network in a city where I wanted to live."
Completed over 18 months, the Executive MBA program consists of 17 long-weekend residential modules where students live and study at Melbourne Business School for four days, and one week-long overseas module in Asia.
"I really got attracted to being able to spend time with my classmates away from the distractions of life and work and I thought an Executive MBA was the best option," Patricio said.
Patricio said the Melbourne Business School alumni network was powerful and a great source of support.
"I am constantly reaching out to test ideas, to test traction," he said.
"For example, if I am evaluating a connectivity platform for hospital at home or aged care facilities, I can pick up the phone and call on my MBA friends there. If I have a technology that needs funding, I have also people in the network that I can talk to and work with.
"To extend that even further, if I don't know someone directly, then someone will know someone so it is a really powerful alumni network."
Patricio said he had been involved in the innovation sector for several years and was passionate about facilitating a culture of innovation between clinicians and researchers.
"Australia and Melbourne are very good at doing research but we derive very little economic benefits from it – that's where business acumen comes into play," he said.
"So unless we start doing things in a different way that will create value for both the companies and customers, which is innovation, we're not going to be able to replace a natural resource-based economy.
"I personally believe that innovation, and particularly innovation in health – which is our strength in research – that's the way to go."