Rachel Johnson, MBA General 2010 Rachel Johnson, MBA General 2010

Shortly after completing the consultancy projects as part of her MBA, Rachel Johnson started her own consultancy.  EuroClinica Ltd provides contract services to US companies that make medical devices.  Picture shows Rachel with a cardiovascular device called the Parachute Implant which is positioned inside a patient's heart in cases of heart failure.  The Parachute Implant has been shown not only to stop the progression of heart disease, but to reverse the disease state.  It is currently being tested in two hospitals in London, one in Cambridge, and other hospitals in mainland Europe.

Only two months after completing the one-year MBA at UEA's business school in December 2009 Rachel had started her own business.  With ten years' experience working for medical device manufacturers in the US (most recently as Director, Clinical Affairs for Devax Inc. in Lake Forest, California), Rachel was looking for a way to combine her American medical expertise with her new location in the UK.  Her idea was to set up a new consultancy EuroClinica, Ltd, to provide contract services to US medical device manufacturers.  EuroClinica offers a local presence for US companies wishing to conduct clinical trials with partners and clients in Europe.  The results of her new venture have been spectacularly successful…

‘I started my business in February this year and it reached profitability in April.  In the space of a few months, I have grown from a having a single client to working with six main clients and I've plans to expand the business this coming year with the addition of extra staff.  It feels great to be able to create a business and grow it - especially in this challenging economy.'

‘There was a reason for me to choose to do an MBA at UEA.  I met my fiancé in the States; he lived in Norfolk and I decided I would study a masters degree here in Norwich.  Actually, I have to say I've fallen in love with Norwich too - it's such a great place to live and work!'

I enjoyed my MBA studies but, to be honest, I found our MBA classwork to be too theoretical at the time.  Having spent ten years in industry, learning the theoretical background of various subjects wasn't as useful as I had hoped.  It was only in retrospect that I was able to appreciate the ‘outside of class' learning objectives we were given - especially the dynamics of consultancy working.  Because of the emphasis the Norwich Business School places on developing students' consultancy skills with live projects, at the end of my year's study I found I had everything in me to start my own business.'

‘One of the most valuable things I've taken away from my MBA is being given the experience to work with people from a wide variety of cultures.  I have applied that learning on an almost daily basis in my work, acting as a conduit between US clients and various European doctors and hospitals.  I have to give credit to the business school by the fact that the MBA gave me the confidence to start my own company here in the UK.'

‘The majority of my client companies are located in the US (most in California) and the time difference makes it challenging for them to connect during work hours to their European clients.  I help manage their projects over here, by acting as a company representative on their behalf.  My day-to-day work includes managing clinical trials - testing medical devices before they are allowed to go on sale in Europe.  I spend about half of my time working in an office on project management and the rest of my time in hospitals training doctors and nurses to use the devices and going through the rules they must follow in proper trials.'

‘The most exciting part of my work is knowing I am a part of bringing really innovative and novel medical devices to the market where they can be used to help a great number of people.'