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Graduate profile Jennifer Franke

“My MBA has been a journey like no other in my career. What started off as a structured learning experience, ‘just’ to add some business theory behind the many decisions I am part of in healthcare, turned into a personal growth experience that exceeded my expectations by far. After every new MBA module, I felt that I was directly able to apply the newly gained knowledge to my daily work at Philips. I started to recognize strategic management patterns, marketing exercises, and change management practices and became more deeply engrained in the execution of these. Being a cardiologist, I was familiar and quite comfortable with being the medical responsible person in the room – perhaps with some innovation, strategy, regulatory and safety issues in the mix. Yet what I have learned in the past two years has allowed me to address patients’ needs and the goals of the company in a more integrated and simply put - a better way. I am now capable of looking at the international healthcare environment from various angles and connecting all my prior experiences with a global enterprise mindset. The international immersive experience, the professional network, and last but surely not least, the friendships I have gained, make this MBA a tremendously remarkable experience.”

From California to Cardiology: A Serendipitous Start

Jennifer was born in California, USA, and moved to Germany in her early teens. Quite by coincidence, she was able to start her scientific career during medical school at the age of twenty-two by applying for a doctorate thesis and in parallel a side job as a study and congress coordinator at a nearby interventional cardiology centre. After completing medical school, she trained in Internal medicine and Cardiology in Frankfurt and Heidelberg whilst continuing clinical and translational research in interventional cardiology and heart failure.

Shaping the Future: Global Medical Breakthroughs

At the age of thirty-four, she took her first step out of the university medicine environment and began to build an international career in medical device business development at Fresenius Medical Care for the EMEA and Asia Pacific regions. After almost four years in business development, Jennifer was appointed the Global medical director for heart failure at Boehringer Ingelheim. There she worked in the pre-launch phase of a pharmaceutical which only a few years later, became the world´s first drug therapy proven in patients suffering from heart failure with preserved ejection fraction – a true sensation for the cardiology community. Afterwards, in her role as Chief Medical Officer for Cardiology at Philips, Jennifer moved into the rapidly evolving Healthtech industry where she currently oversees cardiovascular-focused medical strategy, innovation, and partnerships.

The Intersection of Medicine and Tech: Leading with Impact

Jennifer is a true advocate of lifelong learning and values the connection of her wide range of experiences within the healthcare sector. Jennifer received a master’s in health economics at the London School of Economics in 2018 and became a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC), and the Heart Failure Association of the ESC in the same year. Since then, she has been a core member of cardiovascular disease-specific study groups in these societies and has been appointed to the working group of the German Interoperability Council for Digital Health in 2022.

Lifelong Learning and Leadership: Beyond Boundaries

Jennifer enjoys family life with her husband and young children in Germany. During her MBA studies, sponsors within and outside of Philips have encouraged her to explore her newly gained ‘business muscle’. Being naturally curious, she made her MBA competencies actionable by switching career lanes towards the end of her MBA studies and taking on a business leadership opportunity within Philips. Now, as a member of the management board of Philips Image Guided Therapies Europe and a member of the management board of Philips Germany, Austria, Switzerland (DACH) Jennifer leads the Image Guided Therapy business unit in the DACH zone – a shift in career trajectory she may have not considered feasible and herself adequately equipped for before experiencing the MBA programme.