Carnegie Mellon University

Elise Zavadak (MSPM 2021)

Product Manager, Orders Management

Describe your current role and the most fulfilling aspects of your job.

I work as a product manager at PointClickCare on a project called Pharmacy Connect as well as oversee our QuickMAR product. We are working with the pharmacy persona to harness the power of technology to streamline patient care for their communities. As a mission-driven leader, I love knowing that the work I’m doing every day will help to improve patient outcomes and optimize processes for our pharmacy partners. It also helps that I have a rockstar team of folks alongside me and a mentor that has catapulted my growth tenfold!

What triggered your interest in healthcare?

From the time I was young, I knew I either wanted to be a teacher or a doctor. Fast forward to today and I am a product manager in healthcare — not quite a doctor, but still in healthcare! After getting my start in product management in education, I wanted to continue to extend my impact. For me, healthcare is the optimal field to work in - we will always need innovative ways to transform patient care.

How has the MSPM program helped you in your career?

The fundamental skills I learned as part of the MSPM program have allowed me to innovate faster and communicate with stakeholders effectively. I’m not afraid to take risks and know that if we fail fast, we also get better faster. I especially appreciate the emphasis the program had on design thinking. By empathizing with our users and truly seeking to understand their pain points, it has allowed me to gain a better lens into their day-to-day as we develop our products!

What is your favorite memory from your time in the MSPM program?

The people. Our cohort was unlike any other. You hear stories about students at business schools being competitive with each other. Our cohort encouraged each other to grow and I learned so much from many of my peers. CMU truly fosters a collaborative learning environment that sets it apart from the rest.

How would you describe the ideal student for MSPM?

The ideal student goes beyond the industry in which you have previously worked. You need to be prepared to fail while seeking to get better each and every day. MSPM is a whirlwind of a year that will help you to improve time management and prioritization while preparing you to be a product manager. If you know you want to be a PM, MSPM is the best choice for you.