During the pandemic, which was devastating to so many, Sonia Seth managed to change her life for the better, both personally and professionally. While living at home in Scarsdale, NY and taking online undergraduate classes in biology and chemistry, Sonia had an epiphany about her health. She was overweight and prediabetic, conditions she wanted to reverse to avoid developing a chronic illness. Sonia was familiar with chronic diseases, having seen their impact while volunteering during high school in Alzheimer’s units at nursing homes and hospitals. “Patients there had difficulty with everything. From what I have learned, food and diet play a huge role in chronic disease prevention,” she explains. To address her own challenges, Sonia started to comb through articles and listen to physicians’ podcasts on the topic of chronic illness, ultimately losing weight and reversing the course of her health. Combining Interests in Business and Medicine The pivot she made in her personal life also impacted her career path. Her own experiences, coupled with a motivation to “take care of people suffering from chronic diseases,” she says, have led her to pursue a career that emphasizes “preventive medicine’s ability to curb the chronic disease epidemic in the US.” Although Sonia was a biology major and chemistry minor – and had interned at Harvard Medical School, Weill-Cornell Medicine, and other prestigious medical organizations – in a surprising twist, she decided to combine her interests to forge a path in medicine and business. Sonia started at the Yale School of Management in August and plans to complete both her M.D. and MBA degrees by 2028. “I really want to combine my business and healthcare knowledge because it will move me toward my goal to successfully launch a non-profit organization that focuses on global chronic disease prevention,” she explains. To kickstart her education, Sonia interned this summer at Yale Ventures, an organization that advances technology innovations from the lab to commercialization stages. As a technology marketing associate, Sonia worked to advance Yale Ventures’ pharmaceutical device and diagnostic pipeline by taking on various marketing and communications projects, including deep engagement with Yale entrepreneurs. The experience also gave her essential exposure to the world of entrepreneurship. “As an aspiring entrepreneur, I was able to talk to a lot of different businesspeople, and their processes were extremely insightful to me,” she explains. The internship also imbued her with confidence. “At Yale Ventures, I feel like I can talk to anyone about my entrepreneurial interests,” she says, “and I think this speaks to the incredible community and culture the team has created.” Forté’s Influence: Applying to B-School and Getting More Women Leading In addition to her personal challenges, her volunteer experiences, and her internship at Yale Ventures, Sonia cites Forté as influential to her career path. When she was considering business school last fall, she came across information about Forté’s MBALaunch for Undergraduates Program and decided to join a cohort. Because she was applying for business schools while she was participating in MBALaunch, she says, “I was able to apply to my applications the tips and tricks I was learning while they were fresh in my mind.” Sonia valued the comprehensive program – including sessions about personal statements, professional resumés, and the insights of current women MBAs – and it gave her a new lens to view her career path. “It got me to think in terms of a business school resumé, which is so different than a healthcare resumé,” she explains. “I also felt very supported throughout the program and set up 1:1 calls with Forté folks,” she says. Sonia also attended Forté’s Fast Track to Financial Services Conference in May, an opportunity to connect with other MBA candidates at various schools, including the Yale School of Management. She also benefitted from being part of a “community where everyone uplifted each other,” she says, adding that it was “encouraging to be with other women and have women-led panels.” As she navigates her way through business school, medical school, and beyond, Sonia will carry forth Forté’s mission to get more women leading. Having read that only about 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, Sonia believes it’s imperative to continue increasing workplace diversity and supporting women in pursuit of leadership positions. It’s also key “to make sure women have a voice once they are in those positions,” she explains, “because women struggle to be taken seriously, and shifting the culture so that women feel confident in leadership roles” will result in enduring change. With a wealth of personal and professional accomplishments to bolster her, we are sure that Sonia will be leading the way for change – whether with a stethoscope, a spreadsheet, or both. Join the MBALaunch for Undergrads fall program and start your journey towards saving your seat in a future MBA classroom. Enroll today!