February 1, 2017
Back row left to right: Ben Kim, Kaylee Miu, Alex Yu. Front row, left to right: Diane Le, Kurtis Lee, Andrea Duong, Aradhna Mayalall.

“The Sanger Crisis Leadership Challenge was an eye-opening experience. This fast paced event challenged my ability to analyze material and communicate ideas in a succinct manner,” says Kurtis Lee, PharmD’18. “This is unlike any interprofessional event I have ever attended.”

Seven U-M College of Pharmacy students participated in the Sanger Crisis Leadership Challenge, January 12-13, hosted by the Michigan Ross Sanger Leadership Center. The program prepares students to lead in high-pressure, high-stakes environments. Throughout the training, students engage with crisis management experts, receive specialty training, and personalized feedback.

“This year’s scenario was that our company was potentially involved in a water contamination that resulted in illness in a small town in North Dakota,” explains Andrea Duong, PharmD’19. “The organizers fed us more information throughout the night using email and Twitter updates. Even though my expertise is not in navigating the business world, the problems just required common sense and logic. I will use the skills I learned in the future, since pharmacists commonly work in a team of people with completely different backgrounds and experiences.”

“Based on my experience, I would high encourage students in healthcare to take on the Sanger Crisis Leadership Challenge next year. A crisis is not just something only high-level executives deal with. Crises occur throughout each of our daily interactions, when complex problems arise without a clear solution,” adds Kaylee Miu, PharmD’19. “Similar to Standardized Patient Interactions (SPIs), the challenge is the epitome of Action-Based Learning at Ross. Submerged in a simulated crisis with high stress and limited time, you truly are put to the challenge and pushed to consider every perspective and to capitalize on creativity when developing a strategy.”

“Though my team did not win, I left the competition with incredible insight and feedback from the Ross communication coaches and the board of directors,” continues Kaylee. “As future pharmacists, we will be faced with difficult situations where patient lives will be at stake. Having the ability to think quick on your feet, make smart decisions and to effectively communicate that decision is a crucial skill set for our profession.”

“The experience pushed me outside of my comfort zone,” acknowledges Aradhna Mayalall, PharmD’20. “I enjoyed the challenge of making decisions with a group of business-minded individuals.”

“The high stress level, paired with an unfamiliar work group, was a far cry from the typical classroom experience,” notes Alex Yu, fourth-year pharmaceutical sciences PhD candidate. “Challenging moments can happen anywhere; this experience is definitely something that will carry forward in my future career.”