Michelle Ross Goldwyn ’02S, Stern College for Women’s newest member of its Board of Overseers, says Yeshiva University was the only choice for her when it came time to attend college. “I was fortunate to be able to attend the Hamilton Hebrew Academy at the Adas Israel Congregation in Hamilton, and the Ulpanot Orot Day School in Toronto. From both of these schools I received an excellent foundation of Jewish education upon which to build my post-secondary studies,” she says.
A native of Canada, Goldwyn welcomed the opportunity to be in New York City and to partake in a broad spectrum of classes ranging from Jewish courses and English studies to the humanities and the sciences. Though she wasn’t sure exactly which field she wanted to pursue after she graduated, she knew that it lay somewhere in the health sciences. “After graduation from Stern, I was accepted into a master’s program in biotechnology at Columbia University,” Goldwyn recalls. “It was only after receiving my M.A. that I decided to spend a year in the business world in order to gain some valuable practical experience to complement my graduate studies and resume.” At this point, Goldwyn fully intended to return to the health sciences.
However, what was anticipated as short-term employment turned into a “career altering transformation,” says Goldwyn. “I found that I thoroughly enjoyed my work as a financial analyst in the health care sector. Although I had great trepidation of entering the world of finance without a business background, I was told by my employer that it is far easier to train a person with a science background to learn about the stock market and to be successful, than it is to train a business student to learn about the intricacies of health sciences and pharmaceuticals.” With that encouragement, Goldwyn began working as a market analyst, examining the merits and deficiencies of companies specializing in new pharmaceutical products, scientific and medical instruments and the health care sector. Part of Goldwyn’s job entailed reading and analyzing many studies and reports being submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, making great use of her scientific background.
After eight years in the profession, Goldwyn has expanded far beyond her original field in the health care sector, and has focused on such diverse sectors as petrochemical and industrials. She has been fortunate, she says, to travel to places like China, the Mideast, Central and South America as well as throughout the United States, in order to review investment opportunities and to meet with corporate executives to hear firsthand about their research and development. Since 2006, she has worked as a healthcare analyst at Soros Fund Management.
As a busy wife and mother also managing a full-time career in a demanding field, Goldwyn attributes much of her success in balancing her numerous roles to the organization and time management skills she learned while a student facing a double curriculum. “This lesson still holds true in the business world, as we always have to appreciate that we have our secular career to attend to, but an equally important role to play as responsible Jews within our communities,” Goldwyn explains. “We need to make the time to raise a Jewish family, enrich our synagogue life, partake in Jewish education for ourselves and our children, and engage in Jewish charitable work.”
She continues, “The evolution of my own career and my role as a wife and as a mother has now brought this perspective to the forefront. I have recognized my sincere appreciation and great debt that I owe to Yeshiva University for providing the fine education that I have received, and I now want to ensure that the same opportunities exist for others who wish to attend Stern College for Women.”
For Stern students who are interested in a career in the business world, Goldwyn advises keeping all options open. “Not every career choice follows a clear and quick path, and a business career is often one that comes about in the most circuitous circumstances” Goldwyn remarks. “I recommend that you pursue subjects and courses that interest you, and which you find the most enjoyable; they may lead to a business career for which you are well-suited. I also urge students to remember that graduation is not the end of the learning curve, but just the beginning.”
Goldwyn lives in New York with her husband, Dr. Elan Goldwyn, a 2004 graduate of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and their two sons, Jacob and Benjamin.
Inspired by Michelle Goldwyn and her volunteerism with YU as a board member? Consider how you too can help with alumni outreach or recruitment and career placement efforts by signing up as a member of the YU Ambassador Network. To learn more, visit www.yu.edu/AmbassadorNetwork.