I recently caught up with Max Amurao, a member of the Texas MBA at Dallas-Fort Worth class of 2012, to ask about his career, his experience in the program, and how he plans to spend his time after graduation.
Max, can you tell me a little bit about what you do?
My official title is Director of Radiation Safety at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. I’m also an adjunct assistant professor in the Radiology Department at Georgetown University Medical Center, and practice clinically as a Medical Imaging Physicist. I know it’s a lot of highfalutin words, but basically if something at the hospital has anything to do with radiation, lasers, or magnets then I’m involved with it at some point.
I heard that you recently won an award – what was that for?
The award I just won was an internal award as an “Outstanding Volunteer Professor” for teaching Physics to Radiology Residents (physicians in training). Interestingly enough, they actually need this information – among many other things/topics – to pass their specialty board exams in Radiology. The graduating class (who all passed) was kind enough to recognize my efforts.
Why did you want to get an MBA and how will it help you achieve your career goals?
I wanted to see the broader picture of the ecosystem that I was working in. As a medical physicist, I was able to delve into the technical, clinical/medical, and even academic aspects of healthcare delivery – but I quickly realized that the financial and managerial aspects were critical components of the whole process. I was “hooked” after realizing that, and I knew that enrolling in a respected/reputable MBA program was the best way forward. In broad strokes, my career goal is to be in a leadership position at the confluence of technology, healthcare and business. The first step in progressing toward that goal is a solid educational foundation and I consider myself incredibly lucky and blessed to have earned my PhD and MBA from University of Texas programs.
So, did you commute every other weekend from DC? Of all the options out there, why did you choose the Texas MBA at Dallas-Fort Worth?
I started the program while I was living in Dallas while working at Baylor Health Care System. It was exactly what I needed – I was a mid-career professional, with a non-business background, who needed the formal education while keeping my full time job. I was a “local” Dallas student for a year. I then moved to Durham, North Carolina for a position at Duke University Hospital and I commuted from there for half a year. I then moved to Washington, DC for a position at Georgetown University Hospital and I commuted from DC for the final seven months of the program.
What was your MBA experience like? How did you balance everything?
I had a fantastic MBA experience, although I had to overcome several starts and stops. I always looked forward to class weekends – not just because I would be enjoying the company of good friends, but also because I knew I was going to be in a classroom full of very bright and highly motivated individuals who would make me look at a variety of topics from different angles. In most workplaces, people think the same way – but in a business school that draws from a diverse set of industries and personal backgrounds, my analytical processes were broadened and sharpened at the same time.
The working professional program was very challenging – work, school and family commitments were constantly in play, and keeping a “life balance” was an ongoing challenge to say the least. But going through it made me realize the importance of keeping things in perspective, and focusing on people/projects/topics that really matter. Everyone gets 24 hours in a day, and these were my two guiding principles when faced with competing priorities.
Now that you are done with the program, how are you spending that “extra” time that you would have otherwise spent in class?
I am spending time re-balancing my life. While in the program, majority of my time was spent between work and school. Now, my time away from work is spread between: 1) strengthening personal relationships with family, friends, mentors and colleagues; 2) getting my medical physics consulting start-up off the ground; 3) increasing my volunteer efforts for professional and alumni organizations; and 4) checking off items on my proverbial bucket list – including regularly entering sprint and olympic distance triathlons, as well as exploring national parks and UNESCO world heritage sites.
Sounds like you have a lot of great things going on. Before I let you go, any advice you would offer to prospective working professional MBA students?
I prefer to offer a reminder, rather than advice. The working professional program is grueling, and it is impossible to get through it alone. For me, the critical thinking skills with an MBA slant, as well as the in-class and extra-curricular experiences were priceless. But the relationships formed and/or strengthened as I went through this educational crucible played a major part in getting through the program – the people who helped get me through the program deserve every bit of my degree as much as I do.
We wish Max the best as he continues to pursue his goals. Can you picture yourself sitting in a classroom filled with talented professionals like Max? If so, you can learn more about our Texas MBA at Dallas-Fort Worth program by visiting www.mccombs.utexas.edu/MBA/Dallas.