jon ilani
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Jon Ilani, MBA ’23, makes Poets & Quants Best and Brightest list

Why it matters:

Leadership in the classroom and the community earned Ilani more than just a degree.

Jon Ilani, MBA ’23, was named to Poets & Quants MBA Best and Brightest list for 2023. The annual Best and Brightest list recognizes 100 full-time MBA graduates from elite business schools around the world. Ilani was selected from more than 235 nominations, and this marks the first time Johns Hopkins Carey Business School students were invited to participate in the Best and Brightest list.

Ilani said he chose Carey Business School because it offered him the perfect opportunity to transition to a career in health care. “After researching extensively and speaking with numerous business schools, I realized that Johns Hopkins was the ideal place for me to make this switch,” he said.

Ilani noted that Carey Business School further helped his career transition by arranging a pre-MBA internship with a Carey alumnus. Ilani said the experience provided him with valuable real-world health care experience that was immensely helpful when applying for internships the during his MBA studies.

At Carey, Ilani honed his interest in health care and biotechnology as co-director of the Nucleate’s Baltimore chapter, a student-led 501(c)(3) organization based out of Boston. In 2023, he completed Nucleate’s flagship Activator program, which is a biotech accelerator that pairs PhD students with MBA students to commercialize discoveries. Through the program, Ilani worked with a postdoc from Johns Hopkins who was in the early development stage of a new diagnostic platform.

“The unique advantage of learning from leading health care researchers and professors, as well as being exposed to other schools within the Johns Hopkins community, made Carey stand out from other business schools. Our core classes were taught by health care research leaders in areas ranging from marketing to finance,” said Ilani.

Ilani was also recognized for his leadership at Carey both in the classroom and the community. He served as a liaison between the student body and the school’s administration governance advocacy and academics chair for the full-time MBA class. He was also co-president of the Pride Business Association. “As the co-president, I wanted to ensure that the organization was inclusive of the entire community,” said Ilani. “We hosted a successful launch event that was attended by students, faculty, and staff, which was a great feeling of engagement. It was a privilege to play a role in shaping the organization.”

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Outside of school, Ilani volunteered with Upsurge Baltimore, an organization focused on promoting equitable startup growth in the Baltimore area. He also worked with his husband to raise funds for the people of Ukraine following the Russian invasion. The organization they founded was able to raise over $30,000 for individuals in Ukraine.

Ilani graduated in May and gave a speech during commencement on behalf of the full-time students of the Class of 2023. After graduation, he joined Medtronic in business development and strategy in their medical surgical portfolio in Minneapolis. Ilani previously interned with Medtronic’s with its neuroscience portfolio.

“I would love to be a part of a major acquisition of emerging health care technology. The prospect of exploring new and innovative technologies, and seeing them through the rigorous process of FDA approval and eventual launch is something that I find incredibly exciting,” said Ilani.

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