Pivoting to the business and technology of healthcare to promote the collective good

By Jenny Clare

Emergency nurse, informatics coordinator, business analyst, and product manager. Patrick Eronini, RN, MBA 22, knows the US healthcare sector from many perspectives.

The consistent thread in his career has been wanting to change the inequities he sees in the US healthcare system. “As an Emergency nurse, it became clear to me that upstream non-clinical things have to happen to improve our healthcare system,” he said, “I realized that the major changes we need can only be achieved through policy or through business and technology. In the US, business seemed the more effective path.”

Now, in his second year of the Evening & Weekend MBA program at Berkeley Haas, Patrick is a clinical producer at Apple. He describes his role as “synthesizing the clinical utility and use cases for features, being a link between functional teams, and shepherding product development.” He added, “What is really important to me is the collective good we’re doing.”

Haas creates a safe space to entertain another viewpoint, to wonder if there might be two right answers to a question."

Having spent his entire career in the healthcare sector, Patrick is using his MBA studies to gain the confidence that comes from knowing he is as well-prepared to succeed in business as he is to succeed as a clinician. Patrick says his pivot from nursing to product management was unplanned and noted that “the MBA program is a great lever for making a pivot, but you still have to apply your skills, time, and energy. Don’t be afraid to explore.”

He also values the opportunity to learn with and from people who “don’t have a healthcare background.” The varied experiences of his classmates, Patrick said, “force us all to be a bit uncomfortable and to grow. When you encounter an idea you might not share, it can make you question your own assumptions. Haas creates a safe space to entertain another viewpoint, to wonder if there might be two right answers to a question.”

Classmates and professors offer generosity and expertise

For Patrick, it’s important to understand who his leaders and teammates are as individuals, not just as job titles. “You form better relationships and do better work if you bring all of you to what you are doing,” he said.

He notes that, “the mentorship, instruction, and learning from others at Berkeley Haas all strengthen me in ways I would not otherwise have access to.”

Patrick encountered that generosity of self in his professors, like Ross Levine who taught Economics in the Global Economy. “I grew up with a rich appreciation for the world beyond the US because of my family background,” he said. His parents left Nigeria to live in the USSR and then England, where he was born. From England, they moved to Maryland and Texas.

“Professor Levine shared a lot of his personal research interests, such as inequity in economics and how discrimination or lower economic status affect economic outcomes. He brought his own authenticity and vulnerability to the classroom. That extended our learning well beyond the syllabus.”

Learning to lead with head and heart

Some of Patrick’s most valuable lessons came from Leadership Communications, taught by Mark Rittenberg, PhD. The class incorporates lots of large group activities—think chants and physical exercises—with small groups where students tell their own stories. “These powerful opportunities to be intimate in a safe setting give people the confidence to take their authenticity back to work and tell their stories there,” Patrick said.

“I brought with me to Haas the ability to lead with my heart. What I’m learning here is how to lead with my mind too—with data and objectivity. The synergy of those two things will make me more effective as a leader, more well-rounded and balanced,” he said.

Read more about Patrick in his Evening & Weekend MBA student perspective.

Learn more about the Evening & Weekend MBA program

Posted on August 6, 2020
Themes: Healthcare  |  Technology
Jenny Clare
Jenny is Senior Associate Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA Programs for Working Professionals. She hopes these blog posts provide you with useful insights into the Berkeley MBA experience and answer questions you may have about the MBA in general.