“I never thought I had an entrepreneurial bone in my body. Boy, was I wrong,” says alumna Mei Tang, PharmD ’07.
As a working pharmacist specializing in hospital pharmacy and managed care pharmacy, Tang decided to pursue her PharmD through CU’s distance program and attained her doctorate in ’07. “I worked and lived in Michigan full-time, so a distance program was really the only option. It was a perfect match for my situation and the right fit for me. It was a tremendous step forward in my career,” says Tang.
Most people would stop after an intensive online program, a full-time job, and two children under the age of 3, but not Tang. She moved to California and quickly followed up her PharmD with a MBA from UC-Irvine in the executive healthcare program. “The two degrees complement each other, especially in the areas that I have pursued.”
During her career, she has worked for hospitals, health plans, pharmacy benefits management companies, and eventually landed on the provider side. Tang was tasked to build a new pharmacy facility for a privately-owned specialty pharmacy company and get the operations up and running. “It was a departure from my knowledge and experience in a corporate world. And believe me, I was nervous,” she says. But she succeeded in building the new 13,000 square foot pharmacy that housed pharmacy fulfillment operations, administrative offices, as we ass a customer service call center. She hired and led a team of 75 people. That was followed by a successful system conversion to improve operational efficiency and ensure compliance. Check.
Unfortunately, as the result of company merger, she lost her job. Somewhat at a loss, she began to mull over options. As luck would have it, an opportunity came her way that would change her career path, and life, forever.
She was contacted by a business associate to start a project to help a specialty pharmacy client improve operations process, build patient quality management programs, and to obtain specialty pharmacy accreditations. Soon after that, she was contracted by another consulting company to help a health plan client manage Medicare Part D programs. Through these experiences, she realized she was an entrepreneur, and that her passion and talents were to help others grow and expand. So, she established Two Trees Consulting and has been consulting full-time for the last year and a half. “It’s rewarding and interesting, and I get to call the shots,” says Tang.
“You know they say things happen for a reason and they’re right. I remember in school, I never would have considered myself an entrepreneur, and I really was not interested in that path. Look at me today. Things change and you must be willing to be open to other possibilities. I have learned never to deny yourself opportunities.”