MEEI Enterprise Development Project:
Evidence-Based Medical Information Delivery System
Excitement, Challenge and Reward Surpass Expectations.
When Alena Morozova decided to continue her graduate-level studies at McMaster University’s Master of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEEI) program, she had no idea that her studies would contribute to advancing the exchange of medical information amongst healthcare professionals in developing nations. She never dreamed it would be possible to acquire such an elaborate set of skills and body of knowledge through traditional graduate studies. But then again, McMaster’s MEEI program is not a traditional graduate program.
According to Alena, everything about McMaster’s MEEI program has resulted in excitement, challenge and reward. “Right from the beginning, we were not treated simply as regular graduate students, but rather we were looked upon as new business professionals and entrepreneurs.”
The MEEI experience wildly surpassed Alena’s expectations. “The program enabled us to attend regional, national and international exhibitions, workshops and conferences. We met and networked with established business people, technical mentors, venture capitalists and potential investors. We were exposed to many of the current challenges of working within a large organization; how to enhance team building, and how to excel and achieve our goals.”
More than anything, the MEEI program taught Alena to think differently, to look at problems and issues strategically – something very different from traditional engineering studies. She acknowledges that engineers are trained to focus on a very specific problem that they trying to solve. In business, however, she has learned that you have to think much more broadly, engaging all the very different components of the problem or situation that you trying to resolve.”
In terms of what has had a major biggest impact on her career, Alena quickly acknowledges the practical side of the MEEI program. “Developing and working through a real-time, real-world project is an experience I never dreamed I would have in school. It’s not a program of only text books, lectures and case studies, it’s very real.”
In developing countries, medical personnel often do not have access to the Internet. Determined to make a difference, Alena and her MEEI program partner, Aizhan Tursunbayeva, proposed to pilot a system to deliver information to healthcare professionals in developing and transitional countries using the cellular network infrastructure available in these countries. Their initiative won first prize at the TechNet Smart Competition and will be piloted at Apollo Hospital in Kanpur, India.
Alena believes the MEEI program has made her a better and stronger entrepreneur, from her self-confidence to interacting with all the different people that you come into contact with in business – whether you on your own or part of a large organization.