How I Got Here: Angela Yang (MBA ’19)

The DePaul MBA alumna describes how she transitioned from a career in advertising to healthcare strategy

In this series, Kellstadt alumni share how they got to where they are today in their careers. Kicking it off is Angela Yang, a 2019 DePaul MBA graduate who earned a concentration in health sector management. Today, Angela works as a strategic analytics supervisor for health and wellness accounts at FCB Chicago, a creative advertising agency. She lives in Des Plaines, Ill. but is originally from the Northwest suburbs of Chicago.

Angela Yang (MBA ’19)

As a strategic analytics supervisor…

I serve as an internal consultant to help put clients’ data into a story that tells them how their business is performing overall and where there are areas for improvement. For instance, pharmaceutical companies don’t just want to hear that there’s a 10% increase in website traffic and sales. They want to know the details and why: what content is their target audience looking at, what channels are they using and what are the key points of conversion that will get them to ask their doctor for that specific drug? Apart from creating a story out of those numbers, we work alongside account management to help retain and renew business.

Biggest challenge of my job…

Working with data can get tricky. Data platforms always have new and improved ways to report the data, which can turn into a lot of noise. It’s important to simplify the data as much as possible and grab the key takeaways because at the end of the day it’s my job to help our team satisfy the client.

What I like best about my job…

I like the challenges that it brings, especially with creative opportunities. Pharmaceutical companies are now prioritizing creative advertising, especially toward Healthcare Providers (HCPs) since most doctors are now those who grew up in a digital age. The way they interact with content online is much more intricate, and patients are now more proactive in learning about diseases and treatments through online research prior to consulting their doctors. At the end of the day, I know my job is making an impact in helping connect patients with treatments, and that makes the work more meaningful.

How I got here…

It’s funny because I originally tried to shift out of advertising. I got my bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations from the University of Illinois, and then I worked at an agency for a few years. I decided I didn’t want to be in advertising anymore and wanted to find work that felt more meaningful. I didn’t need it to be a passion, but I was burnt out and wanted a career shift.

Once I was a student again, I had to do a lot of self-advocating and eventually landed an internship at a health technology startup that created a resident engagement solution for senior living communities. This eventually led me to another job at a healthcare data provider company, and I worked there for several years. I was able to officially make that career shift and get the experience working with pharma clients and data analytics.

It was at Kellstadt that I realized healthcare was making a big shift in their marketing strategies. I eventually landed the position I’m in now because not only did I have the healthcare background they were looking for but also the agency background as well. I honestly thought I would end up working at a pharma company or another startup, so I was pleasantly surprised to see how the universe took me full circle.

Things I did to help me get here…

“You’re in Kellstadt because you want to ‘manage’ in business and not just execute the work,” says Yang.

During my time at Kellstadt, I actively asked industry professionals for informational interviews and took on extra projects that were relevant to healthcare and data analytics. Even though I was in school, no one was “handing” me a job upon graduating or offering me interviews, so I had to be proactive about my professional development. On top of that, I sought out support and assistance from the Kellstadt Career Management Center, whose staff helped me a great deal even when the health sector management concentration was on its last leg during my final year. After I graduated, the concentration was updated to healthcare analytics. I also constantly reached out to Kellstadt alumni and went to conferences and events that would connect me with someone who could help. I was fortunate to have a few alumni who took the time to talk with me and point me in the right direction. I still keep in contact with them to this day.

The Kellstadt course that helped me the most in my career…

The consulting management course. We had to partner with a local nonprofit and create an implementation strategy to help improve the organization’s current business struggle. We had to do on-site visits to interview and collect data while simultaneously managing client expectations and sticking with the project timeline –very similar to a real account management scenario. Our end result was a full booklet that our client was able to take back to their team and put into action, which was rewarding.

Advice for Kellstadt students interested in my career… 

Don’t solely focus on being fluent in crunching numbers. Learn how to present all of that in a creative way. You can volunteer to help on different projects or work part-time/interning while studying. These experiences will put you in different situations that will expose you to unique perspectives that can help you in the long run.

The market is oversaturated with people who know how to use Tableau, Python and Google Analytics. In business, we want to know the bigger picture, and you’ll hear that a lot. You’re in Kellstadt because you want to “manage” in business and not just execute the work. Even so, the job you get upon graduation may not always be your end-goal, but it can be a step in the right direction. Too often, I see my colleagues pass on opportunities because it doesn’t interest them or fit their expectations. It’s important to stay humble and work hard because the right opportunity will happen when you least expect it.



Posted on

July 6, 2021