Alumni Spotlight: Nikhel Taurani (MPA 2022)
With his passion for healthcare investment, Nikhel reflects on his experience with Wagner’s MPA, Health Policy and Management program as well as his new role as an omni channel marketing consultant with Indegene.
What motivated you to attend the Wagner School of Public Service and pursue its Health Policy and Management program?
I’ve always been in awe of the healthcare field owing to the complex nature of the field and the large community impact it possesses. My passion initially led me to pursue pharmaceutical sciences, however, I realized that while developing novel medicine is critical in terms of innovation, accessibility and affordability plays an equally important role. Moreover, improving accessibility and affordability requires systemic efforts, and understanding systemic changes requires knowledge of the challenges, the stakeholders, and the political landscape governing the healthcare field. Hence, Wagner’s HPAM program was a perfect fit for me as the program allows you to deep dive into both the management issues faced, and analyze the policy environment in which the healthcare system operates in.
Reflecting on your experience at Wagner, how did your program impact your understanding of the health field? How did it prepare you for the next steps in your career?
The program exceeded my expectations. Specifically, from the very onset our program curriculum was structured on giving us a holistic understanding of how the United States healthcare system was formulated, how historic decisions are responsible for the challenges and successes of the current system, and what the future holds. Additionally, what surprised me is the level of group projects I had to undertake. I had the privilege of working with students who are just starting out in healthcare, professionals who are currently in the healthcare field, and individuals who are in the midst of a career change. Such diversity is what Wagner thrives on and learning from such individuals on a daily basis really was the highlight of my Wagner experience.
You’re currently engaged with the NYU Impact Investment Fund, can you tell us about your responsibilities, projects, and goals as it relates to health?
The NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF) is an experiential learning course, that allows students to gain firsthand practical experience on how an Impact Investment Fund operates, and how they make investment decisions. I was appointed as a Healthcare Deal Team, and my team and I were responsible for searching social enterprises that focused on innovative early-stage healthcare start-ups that improve access, equity, affordability, and quality of care for the at-risk uninsured and under-insured population either in the United States or in developing nations. The experience was critical in my academic journey. From a technical standpoint it allowed me to learn about how investments can assist in bridging gaps in our current healthcare system, and how financial due diligence is conducted. From a professional standpoint, it enabled me to learn from not only my diverse team members, and faculty, but also learn from the experiences of entrepreneurs globally on how they are tacking such issues through technological innovation.
This summer you’ll join Indegene, a technology-led healthcare solutions provider. What drew you to this opportunity and what do you hope to gain from the experience?
I’ve always been an avid believer in technology being the answer towards bridging the gap in care. Additionally, consulting allows you to serve multiple stakeholders in large-scale transformation. It goes without saying that the sector is undergoing a massive shift and being part of that change will allow me to grow professionally. Hence, Indegene is a great start as an early-career professional, and I’m absolutely assured that Wagner has prepared me to create an impact from the get-go!
Any advice for Wagner students interested in health?
Start early, engage your faculty as much as possible! I cannot stress this enough! Whenever I got the chance, I would always visit them in office hours to discuss my professional goals. Wagner’s faculty are industry professionals, who have such an extensive network, and experience under their belt, leverage it! The other thing I would suggest is that Wagner is your training ground, leverage every opportunity to network, and participate in discussions and events! The more effort you put in, the more you get out of your Wagner experience.