Forging Her Own Path
Published on 15 March 2021
A chance conversation at a networking event led Mital S. Shah, Pharm.D. ’15, MBA, to a successful career in management consulting that has taken her from University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis to destinations around the world.
“I was in high school and considering my career options when my uncle asked me if I had ever thought about pharmacy,” Shah explained. “He told me about the University. I have doctors in my family but not many pharmacists so his suggestion surprised me, but when I researched the University and came to campus for a visit, I felt it was the right place for me.”
As an undergraduate student, Shah was eager to learn about the many possibilities a career in pharmacy could offer. While she considered her options, she gained experience through volunteering at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and through working as a pharmacy technician at Schnucks Brentwood CVS Pharmacy in Brentwood, Missouri.
Shah enjoyed these opportunities to learn as well as the real-world experiences that her rotations offered. She planned to continue working in community pharmacy after graduation until a trip abroad provided a new perspective.
“After I graduated, I went on a three-month trip to India, New Zealand and Australia to give myself a break before starting my first full-time pharmacy job,” Shah explained. “During that trip, I thought a lot about what I was passionate about in my life and career, and I became more independent and self-aware.”
When Shah returned to the U.S., she accepted a position as a community pharmacist at a Walgreens in Milwaukee. She quickly found ways to improve the store’s efficiency and reduce patient wait times. Through these early successes, she discovered a passion for pharmacy business and operations.
“I was excited about the changes I made at our local store and wanted to make bigger, system-wide changes,” Shah explained. “I realized that I wanted to be the person who could make large-scale changes for a company or organization, but in order to do that, I needed business training.”
Shah attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where she completed a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in finance. As she combined her interests in pharmacy and business, she continued her career working for pharmacies and other health care organizations in a corporate role.
Now, as a senior management consultant with Deloitte, a multinational professional services network and the largest professional services network in the world, Shah is in high demand and travels to a variety of health care companies to advise them on how to optimize their processes to improve patient care.
“Every Monday, I’m on a 6 a.m. flight, which may not sound like fun, but I can’t imagine doing anything else,” Shah said. “I’m excited to get on that plane, and I’m excited every day to go to work. My work has put me on the leading edge of trends and changes to health care, like telehealth and other innovations that are making a big impact on patient care. My work has also allowed me to continue to travel. I was able to visit all 50 U.S. states thanks to our flexible schedules. Management consulting can be challenging and sometimes exhausting, but I love the challenges, and I love what I do.”
Shah is currently embarking on a new adventure. Recently married, she has left her native Chicago to join her husband in Las Vegas. She continues to engage with the University through various alumni events and by offering advanced pharmacy practice experiences to students wanting to learn more about health care consulting.
This story was first published in the fall 2020 issue of Script magazine. To read past issues of the magazine, visit the Script magazine archive.