Learning the management side of business

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Learning the management side of business

By Sandra Levy - 01/02/2019
When Susan Novotny-Cannata graduated from the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy with a bachelor of science degree in 1991, she took a year off and then went for her master of business administration degree. Because she was a part-time student, it took her four years to obtain her MBA.

Although Novotny-Cannata didn’t get her dual degree concurrently, she epitomized why attaining a PharmD and an MBA is a win-win situation for students and their employers.
Novotny-Cannata is the pharmacy operations manager at Wegmans Pharmacy in Buffalo, N.Y., and Erie, Pa., divisions. She is responsible for managing 13 stores and 75 pharmacists. Seven of her colleagues hold the same position within the company.

“I was always interested in the management part of the business,” she said. “In pharmacy school, it was 100% focused on pharmacy and the clinical aspects of the health sciences. I always knew I loved pharmacy and being a pharmacist. I knew I wanted to know more about not only the pharmacy business and healthcare business, but business management in general. Getting an MBA gave me the business acumen and skills for leadership and advancement. It was the best of both worlds that collided.”

Although Wegmans — where she has worked for 27 years — didn’t require that she have an MBA, she said, “It certainly gave me skills in leadership and management to advance to that position more easily than others.” After a year as a staff pharmacist, she was promoted into pharmacy management.

“I always had a desire to manage and lead people. Taking the dual degree gave me two different views, the health sciences discipline of being a pharmacist and the business knowledge on how to manage a pharmacy,” she said.