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Kanaka Pattabiraman, McGowan Fellow

Kanaka PattabiramanKanaka Pattabiraman

Kanaka Pattabiraman, born and raised in India, came to the United States at age 15 to attend college. Since joining the pharmaceutical field while in graduate school, she has been learning how to push the boundaries of that industry. At MIT Sloan, she is working to develop innovative, low-cost healthcare solutions for underprivileged populations in emerging markets.

In the fall of 2010, Pattabiraman, MBA ’11, in recognition of her social leadership and academic excellence, received the McGowan Fellowship, which is awarded to 10 candidates each year from the top 20 business schools.

At MIT Sloan, students are eligible for both need- and merit-based scholarships, but the School is only able to provide this kind of support to less than 15 percent of its graduate student body. Tuition for the 2010 academic year is $50,353; but when factoring in supplies and living expenses, the total cost exceeds $80,000. The limited number of fellowships available at MIT Sloan puts the School at a competitive disadvantage.

“Our ability to attract the best candidates is hindered by the fact that we can’t compete at the same level as other schools where they give almost full tuition,” says Rod Garcia, director of MBA Admissions.

“I ask alumni to think back to the time when they were selecting schools and how some of them were apprehensive about what it would cost them to go through this two-year experience, and consider if there’s something they can give to help alleviate that fear for our incoming students,” Garcia says.

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