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Penn Vet Announces First Student in New VMD-MBA Program

Melanie Kirshenbaum of Westchester County, N.Y., joins the program, which trains students to advance the science and business of food animal production.


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Melanie Kirshenbaum of Westchester County, N.Y.

Penn Vet

Getting your degree in veterinary medicine might seem like a gigantic hurdle. But imagine getting your masters in business association along with your DVM. Crazy, right?  

There is one ambitious student willing to take that on, however: Melanie Kirshenbaum of Westchester County, N.Y. She is the first student to enter Penn Vet’s newly updated VMD-MBA program, which is put together by Penn Vet’s Center for Animal Health and Productivity (CAHP) and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

According to Penn Vet, the program trains "leaders and entrepreneurs with the vision to advance both the science and business of food animal production in order to help ensure global food security... [Students] are required to develop projects that explore the applications of economic and business principles to the health and productivity of livestock industries.”

Veterinarians play a key role in food security, and that is only going to increase in coming years. That’s what inspired Kirshenbaum to pursue the degree, as she has an interest in global health and agricultural development

“An economic and industry-focused approach to global food security, health, and sustainable development—rooted in science—will be especially important in the coming years,” Kirshenbaum said. “I’m excited about this opportunity to expand my knowledge of these areas and I’m pleased to be part of the ongoing collaborations between Penn Vet and Wharton.”

Kirshenbaum received her undergraduate degree in economics from Cornell University. Before going to University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine to pursue her veterinary degree, she worked with international development organizations. When she graduates, Kirshenbaum will obtain her veterinary and MBA degrees and a certificate in Food Animal Production Medicine. 

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