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Living The Dream - Ryan Dorton

Master of Business Administration

May 2015

Pre-Program career: Biology Associate at Endocyte, Inc. (West Lafayette, IN) 

Post-Program career: Manager, Business Development at Endocyte, Inc. (West Lafayette, IN)

Previous Degrees: B.S. Biology (Saint Joseph’s College)

Why Krannert?

The simple answer is Krannert was local and it gave me the opportunity to get my degree without disrupting my family. However, I chose Krannert’s full-time program over the weekend program or online programs from other universities because I wanted the ability to develop my network and work face-to-face with some of the brightest minds, which Krannert has both in students and faculty.

Tell us about your experiences at Krannert.

The people make the program and while this may be the case in many programs it really is the backbone of Purdue. I enjoyed my time at Krannert, from classes and hallway conversations to club activities and intramural sports. Given the opportunity to do it all again, I would have participated more in the social events. It’s difficult because the program is academically demanding, and if you have a family you have external commitments, but attending MBA school is probably the last time most of us will get an opportunity to be a part of something like this and every student should try to make the most of the experience.

Are you a career changer, career enhancer or a new professional?

Career Changer

What was your internship?

Corporate Strategy MBA Intern at Cummins Inc.

What did you take away from your internship experience?

I was great to get experience in an industry that was different from my previous work experience. It was also very beneficial to experience the culture and atmosphere of such a large, multinational company after spending 8 years in a small biotech.

What did you enjoy about your internship?

The projects we worked on were real projects that were affecting decisions in the company. The full-time employees treated us like co-workers not interns and gave us the opportunity to drive our own work streams within the projects. 

How did you find your new career?

I always wanted to return to Endocyte after I left to enter the MBA program. I did not know if that would happen, but my experiences in the program and through my internship helped make that transition possible.

What drew you to this company?

The people, the culture and the mission to help people with life threatening diseases. 

What will be the challenges of your new career?

I have a head start over many of my fellow students because I’ve already proven myself to the company I’ll be working for after the program. However, having no previous business experience, the transition from the technical side to the business side will be challenging. 

What courses from the MBA program have you found beneficial?

All of the core classes (business analytics, accounting, finance, etc.) may have been review for most of the students with backgrounds in business, but for me they were crucial to building a foundation of understanding that helped me get the most from the more theoretical courses in the program. 

Advice for someone looking to work at the company you are working at?

The biggest hurdle is simply the size of our company. We are ~85 employees right now and don’t anticipate needing to expand for at least another 18 months. However, if a students is very interested in Endocyte, I would recommend that they contact us and find out how they can use their experience/position at Krannert to help solve some problems that we just don’t have the manpower to address. I’m sure management would appreciate the help and it would give the student an opportunity to demonstrate their strengths.