2015 Neff Entrepreneurial Intern Fellow
How did you find the position?
I first met Samir Malik, founder and CEO of 1DocWay, at a Health Care Management (HCM) speaker panel on entrepreneurship during pre-term. We kept in touch over the course of the year and I invited him to campus to give a talk to MBAs interested in learning more about healthcare technology startups through the Wharton Digital Health Club. I reached out to him to inquire about any opening at the company or the summer around March of my first year, went through two rounds of interviewing, and eventually secured an offer to work as a Product Manager (PM) for the summer.
What was the motivation for working at a start-up this summer?
Having worked in consulting for four years, I have seen a variety of business challenges faced by large companies such as health insurers, technology providers, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and provider groups. I built the analytical skills to help tackle these challenges but lacked the understanding of how healthcare companies are started. One key reason motivating me to work at a start-up this summer was to understand the business challenges faced by firms in their early stages. Also, I have had my eye on the healthcare technology industry for a few years now since so many healthcare start-ups have popped up to address the structural issues of the industry. Some of the most exciting and disruptive work is being done at these fast growing start-ups and I knew I would have the largest impact working with one this past summer.
What advice would you give to students looking to work in a start-up?
The summer between your first and second year of MBA is the best time to try your hand at a start-up, and start-ups give you the best way to learn quickly and make a difference in such a short amount of time. We are working in a unique time where start-ups across various industries are challenging existing business models, incorporating technology in unique ways, and attracting some of the smartest talent. I cannot think of a better time to get involved with a start-up and get a true sense of the experience than the summer internship. That being said, each start-up experience is different so be sure to invest the time and energy in getting to know where you would be the best fit.
Making an impact in mental health just 10 weeks
The mental health and behavioral health industries are going through a transformation. Patients are receiving better care thanks to companies like 1DocWay. As a PM for the company this summer, I was able to work on the core the business: the telepsychiatry platform. In just 10 weeks I led major feature improvements to make the patient and physician experiences better, easier, and more enjoyable.
As PM in a small team at a fast growing company, I worked directly with the CTO, the designer and the three remote developers. Only at a company of this stage and size would I have been able to secure a key role in an area I had no prior experience. PM experience is hard to come by without prior PM experience or a technology background. 1DocWay gave me the resources I needed to get up to speed quickly. Not surprisingly, I was able to bring a lot of my skills from consulting and apply them to the role at 1DocWay. Although I do not know what the platform looked like before I joined for the summer, the team and our clients were incredibly happy with the changes made in a short amount of time. Every time a new feature was rolled out to the live platform, I felt a sense of accomplishment as I knew our users across the country benefited from the improvements. The core of the business was improving, thereby improving the experience of patient accessing mental health and physicians providing care.
After my summer in PM at 1DocWay, I have a strong interest in continuing down the PM path. Before coming to Wharton I knew I was drawn to the intersection of healthcare and technology, and I now realize the impact a PM can have in a technology based company. As I
begin my search for a full time role post-graduation, I am reminded of how lucky I am to find my summer internship experience.