Subi Natarajan: From Research to Management

Subi Natarajan head shot

When applying to bioengineering MS programs, Subi Natarajan was focused on traditional research based programs. However, she was already frustrated about how so much of the promising research in the field never left the lab and couldn't reach the patients who are in need. She stated that "I felt like I wasn't doing anything concrete; I was watching this fascinating research going on that was purely conceptual, and I wanted to focus more on work where I could see more of the action." Though planning on pursuing the research MS program through the University of Pittsburgh Bioengineering Department (led by professor Sanjeev Schroff), she switched to the CMI track after becoming aware of it.

Immediately, it became apparent how unique the CMI group was. Subi took a wide range of classes as part of the program, covering everything from regulations and market analysis to product ideation and design considerations. She also worked with a student team to develop a prototype for a new device to assist stroke patients with their therapies and quantify their recovery. In her words, the CMI program is "quick and intensive; it's not a traditional research program.  If you want to understand how companies work and what it really takes to bring a medical product to the people who need it, CMI is a fantastic program. You will learn diverse skills, get great networking opportunities and receive lots of individual attention from professors. It was a huge stepping stone for my career." 

In fact, after graduating from the program in April 2015, she was brought into the prestigious Research and Development Future Leadership Program at RB, a consumer goods manufacturer of diverse health, hygiene, and home products. She participates in rotating product management, which requires a diverse and eclectic skill set. She credits the CMI program for much of her success, saying "It contributed not only to getting the position, but being able to contribute to the company effectively; I deal with everything from customer needs and market analysis to product launch". She is looking forward to building her career further, bringing cutting edge technologies to the people who need them most.

written by Brian Lupish, CMI Fellow