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Driving Positive Transformation with Deborah Brown

Nov 06, 2023

Throughout our lives, we all encounter moments of planned change, such as relocating, pursuing higher education, launching careers, or starting a family. We set goals that requires us to embrace change. Similarly, companies experience intentional transformations in order to thrive in evolving environments.

Our host John Rebecchi (M.B.A. ’83), Ph.D. recently welcomed Deborah Brown (M.B.A. '08), originally from Guyana, South America, who moved to the United States to complete her education. Now a transformational leader in healthcare, in this episode, she shares her firsthand experience with goal-driven change.

Brown’s passion for science started at a young age, with a specific interest in science by age 15. After graduating from high school, Brown’s curiosity led her to pursue an internship opportunity at the country’s main laboratory. Eager to expand her professional opportunities, Brown moved to the United States to complete her education where she received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and then earned a Master of Business Administration in project management at the New York Institute of Technology.

Similar to numerous School of Management students who moved far from home to pursue higher education, Brown centered her focus on adapting to changes in the United States and the new opportunities rather than what she left behind. Brown recommends actively engaging in the school community, connect with classmates and faculty of your major, and practicing self-kindness, especially during moments of homesickness.

When asked about intentional change, and envisioning our ideal self, Brown shared her personal mantra she lives by, “always be ready for the next step.” This for her involves in a continuous commitment to learn, bringing value to the organization and  making positive change everywhere she goes. She added, “For me [aspiring for a certain title] was secondary. Doing something that motivated me, that made me feel alive or purposeful, the title came.”

To thrive as a leader, Brown emphasizes the importance of being resilient. She shared, “We have to be able to learn from things that may not work out the way you intend for them to work out or did not meet your success criteria. It is really important to position our self to be as resilient as we can be within life.” In the world of constant change, it is crucial to learn, adapt and respond to unexpected situations including transformative changes.

Listen to the full episode: Podbean, Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify.

By Patthara Chandaragga