From Molecular Biology to MBA

Molecular biologist Nishta Rao wanted to revitalize her career with a Johns Hopkins education. But she lived and worked in New York City. Enter the Carey Business School's online program.

Student Uses Carey Online Program to Catalyze Career Shift

After more than a decade as a molecular biologist and research scientist, Nishta Rao knew she needed a change.

“I wanted to move away from the bench. I really loved interacting with people,” Rao said. “Once I had a taste of the business side of biotech, I knew I wanted to pursue it more.”

This taste whet her appetite for an MBA degree. When she began looking at schools, she was naturally drawn to Johns Hopkins University because of the university’s reputation in health care. “I wanted to do biopharmaceutical business development, so it seemed to be a good choice,” she said.

Like many MBA students, Rao wanted to pursue her degree part-time so she could maintain her full-time employment. But Rao had an added wrinkle, she didn’t want to move away from her job and life in New York.  

Enter the Carey Business School’s hybrid online program. The part-time MBA program allows students to take classes both in-person and online – a perfect fit for someone like Rao. Rao has taken both in-person and online classes during her time at Carey.

“I’ve loved both aspects of the online and in-person classes,” she said. “With the online program, it’s very important to manage your time. It’s a little bit challenging because you are not in the classroom with the professor and your classmates, but the online community has surprised me. There is so much camaraderie and friendship.”

In fact, she found the program so rewarding she decided to take on a full-time student course load.

“At the same time I still have the flexibility to do other things if I chose to. If an exciting work opportunity came up, I could’ve put this on the backburner,” she said.

Rao said she was surprised by the social vitality of the online program. “There are people I have never met, and I feel like I know them,” she said. “It surprised me because I did not think it would be possible. It’s really like a community, like a family. I’ve made what I think will be lifelong friends.”

Rao added that the program has given her the connections and the skills to take her career to the next level.

“My time at Johns Hopkins has opened up so many doors. The MBA program gives you an introduction into every aspect, every avenue,” she said. “It has given me that platform where I feel like I can do pretty much anything.”


October 11, 2017


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