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Daniel Lev: a bird's eye view of business (Business of Bioscience)
Out of breath in business casual, second year MBS Daniel Lev sits down to our informal interview having just rushed from a 7:30am meeting in Orange County. As a part of his Applied Entrepreneurship class, Daniel has the unique opportunity to work with a small group of students to build a business plan with Life Technologies’ entrepreneur-in-residence. With its broad scope and big-picture focus, this project is ideal for a student like Daniel.
“Writing a business plan for something new – you have to think creatively. Going from nothing to a whole business is a pretty cool process.”
As a molecular and cellular biology major at UC Davis, Daniel discovered early on that a career involving interpersonal communication and teamwork suited his outgoing personality much better than solitary Ph.D. work. He decided to apply to various professional science masters (PSM) programs including those at Georgetown, Northeastern, American University, and Keck Graduate Institute. After receiving acceptance letters from each school, Daniel decided on KGI because he believed that it was the only institution to stress a strong business program.
“The degrees offered in other PSM's were actually M.S.'s. Other PSM programs didn’t have former MBA professors and didn’t offer an option to take MBA classes [through cross registration with the Drucker Graduate School of Management.] KGI is the only true hybrid program that’s out there.”
Despite his “Business of Bioscience” focus track label, Daniel completed an independent study in a yeast lab during his first year and interned at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Clinical and Regulatory Affairs. There is value in exploring opportunities outside of your focus. Daniel comments that he actually had regular interactions with business during his time at the FDA.
“It might look weird that I did my internship at the FDA and I’m not interested in pursuing reg affairs, but people should realize that’s ok. The internship at the FDA is really unique because you get to see the whole industry from the other side.”
Sitting opposite industry professionals during drug reviews, Daniel got to experience first-hand the strategy used to get drugs approved. This bird’s eye view of business and regulatory interactions also allowed Daniel to notice a communication gap that, if bridged, could potentially ease tensions in the regulatory process.
More than halfway through his second year, Daniel continues honing his big picture management skills on a Team Masters Project with Beckman Coulter on product lifecycle management with an emphasis on obsolescence and discontinuance. His career aspirations lie in the related field of marketing strategy. Where many may focus on increasing sales as much as possible as soon as possible, Daniel sees the value in creating long-term plans for profitability that will eventually benefit the company as a whole in the long run.
Coming from the hard sciences, it’s easy for a KGI student to get bogged down in the details. For the current and future students who may suffer from this problem, Daniel offers some words of advice.
“The point of KGI is undergrad: part II. You should look at it as a way to figure out what you want to do. This is a bridge between undergrad and our careers. You should look at it as a way to explore your interests rather than a time to pigeon hole yourself into a career.”
By Christina Lai (MBS '11)