Interview by Mani Selvaraj, MBA Class of ’23
with Daniel Trejo and Rashmi Shrivastava, MD, MBA Class of ’23
What company did you intern with this summer? Which program and/or functional area were you a part of?
DT- This summer, I worked at Eli Lilly as a Commercial MBA Intern in the international business unit (IBU). I joined the marketing department in the neuroscience business unit on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).
RS- International Business Unit Medical Affairs, Eli Lilly
What project(s) did you work on?
DT- I had the opportunity to work on three different projects:
- AD Digital Onboarding Platform.
For this project, I had to analyze the different onboarding and training materials currently available across the different platforms and sites and build a new design onboarding plan defining the flow and creating a new set of materials that will serve as a quicker and lighter solution for new colleagues joining the neuroscience team in IBU for our AD platform.
- AD Platform Country Tiering Analysis
For this project, I had to develop a prioritization tool in recommended countries with a clear understanding of their particularities based on their potential, diagnostics Infrastructure, and affordability, partnering with the regulatory, forecast, and PRA teams for the analysis to give a country tiering recommendation for launching Donanemab.
- AD Forecast Integration– Japan and China
For this project, I had to manage communication and incorporate forecast requirements to ensure consistency and integrate the different needs of the business, partnering with our finance, new product planning, and forecast colleagues in China and Japan.
RS- Transformation of medical information with AI/ML
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome, and what did you learn from it?
DT- My biggest challenge was moving the projects on time, considering the different departments involved in each project, and aligning the recommendation with my team and manager. Working cross-functional can be challenging. Teams have different goals, timelines, and expectations. The key is to have constant alignment to achieve common goals.
RS-Learning about different technologies and working in different time zones with multiple business units across the globe.
How was your experience networking with different colleagues at your company?
DT- Networking should make us feel good about the new relationships we form by creating value for each person. This is the feeling I get every time at Lilly. The company lives through its values of excellence, integrity, and respect for people. In every interaction I had, I was able to learn and feel the warmth of the people. I could talk with senior vice presidents and senior directors the same way as any other person in the organization. Networking is part of Lilly’s culture.
I learned that people are the most important resource of any organization. As Steve Fry (Executive vice president, human resources and diversity) told us, “People are the most important resources of an organization. No product can be developed, manufactured, and commercialized without people.” Lilly is a company with a heart that cares about its employees.
RS- It was a great learning experience which I enjoyed a lot.
Has this experience changed your overall career goals? Did you identify any skills that you would like to develop as you return for the second year of the MBA program?
DT- Before joining, my career goal was to work in a company that values its employees, a place where you work as a team creating and delivering value to colleagues, and a business where you can improve the quality of life of people using innovative solutions. Lilly gave me more than I expected, and now I had the opportunity to go back as full-time. My career goal is different now. I want to become an innovative leader in the healthcare industry using AI and digital solutions to connect businesses with clients and to create data-driven decisions that help all the collaborators in the company.
RS-Yes! As I realized it’s a high-time Healthcare area that should explore AI and I did a few courses in AI afterward and decided to do health technology work for my full-time job.
Are there any other suggestions you would give to future students that are about to begin their summer internship?
DT- In an executive coffee chat with Ilya Yuffa, President of Lilly International mentioned that there are keys to success. 1) Connecting with people, 2) Having a goal beyond reach, and 3) Brutal execution. I put these concepts into practice, which helped me succeed in my internship.
My advice to future students about starting their summer internship is to continue to be diligent in using these keys, bring your experience and ideas, and always stay true to yourself.
RS- Try to learn the goal of your project first and understand the supervisor’s needs on the project and align your work process with the company’s work culture.