Meet Melanie Kirshenbaum, V'17
Melanie is a fourth-year Penn Vet student with an interest in global health and agricultural development. She is a Cornell graduate (2008) in economics and international relations and worked with several international development organizations before pursuing her VMD.
She plans to pursue an MBA in recognition of the integrated nature of health, food and economic security and the opportunities for industry and multilateral organizations to manage stakeholders and resources in these fields. Her focus will be on economically and environmentally sustainable measures to address food security and disease risks in the face of rapidly shifting global challenges.
About the VMD-MBA Program
The program brings together researchers from multiple academic disciplines from across the University of Pennsylvania and beyond, including:
- Food industry leaders
- Policy makers
These individuals serve to inspire pioneering solutions and curricula for a new generation of students who think inclusively about human well being, food and nutritional needs, environmental health, economic growth, and the challenges of food security on a national and global scale.
Our focus is on the health and productivity of livestock and poultry as they can offer a vital foundation for improving the well being of rural populations, especially women, for transforming rural economies, and feeding the developing world’s rapidly growing urban populations thirsty for the crucial nutrients found in milk, meat and eggs.
The combined degree VMD-MBA training program is sponsored jointly by the School of Veterinary Medicine’s Center for Animal Health and Productivity and the Wharton School of Business and supported by the Robert Marshak – Vernon Hill Scholarship Program.
Integrated training will emphasize innovative solutions to the complex business, health, environmental, and societal challenges associated with both intensive and small-scale livestock and poultry production in a global environment with a rapidly increasing demand for animal-sourced protein.
A Joint Curriculum
The joint curriculum will provide graduates with a strong program in veterinary medicine and a solid business platform on the economics of food security, systems design, leadership, finance, competitive strategy and marketing. Students will be required to develop projects that explore the applications of economic and business principles to the health and productivity of livestock industries and the issues of global food safety and security.
Students completing the combined program will receive VMD and MBA degrees and a Certificate in Food Animal Production Medicine. Graduates will have unique qualifications for leadership roles in food animal agribusiness, government, non-governmental organizations, public health, research and academia.
Enrolling in the VMD-MBA Program
Student can enroll in the VMD/MBA by completing the following steps:
- Send in a Statement of Intent to Lisa Dewald (email@example.com)
- Set up an interview with a member of the VMD-MBA Executive Committee to discuss their individual goals and to get insights into their eligibility for application
- Identify a faculty mentor (Vet School, Wharton) who is familiar with the student’s interest as well the VMD/MBA program
- Students must be accepted in the VMD program or have an equivalent degree AND be accepted into the Wharton MBA program. Eligibility for scholarship aid will be determined by the VMD-MBA Executive Committee.
- Field Application Project (FAP): This is a required element of the program that must be completed prior to the terminal year and must be eligible for publication (see below).
- Required elective courses: In addition to the core course work required in the VMD and MBA programs as well as the electives associated with any major within the schools must take:
- VCSN654 Veterinary Medicine Global Health and Food Security courses (Year 1 and 2)
- VCSN633 Animal Health Economics
- Entrepreneur … Corp Finance, OR….
Additionally, students must select at least 5 other elective courses that deal with aspects of Global Food Security from:
- Food Safety
- Animal Welfare
- Pollution and Environmental protection
- Ecology of infectious disease and disease dynamics
- Wildlife ecology, disease, conservation
- Sustainable Animal Production
- Climate change and impacts on production and disease
- Global Trade and regulation
Students must fully understand these requirements and be confident that they can cope with the additional demands of completing all the requirements.