Marcella Bothwell (MBA ’14) is an otolaryngology (ear, nose & throat) specialist. She was recently appointed to the San Diego Park & Recreation Board.
What impact has Rady had on your career progression?
Before coming to Rady, I was a successful pediatric ENT surgeon. I recognized that this seemingly narrow focus could be enhanced with the graduate business degree and chose to come to UCSD Rady Business School while remaining almost a full-time equivalent at the UCSD medical school. While some surgical skills are transferable to other areas of interest many are not and after retiring from the surgical practice my MBA has been invaluable in creating other avenues for success.
Good government and its processes have always interested me and now I’m taking an active role in the Pacific Beach Town Council as Board member and Treasurer, Board member of the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Board and Co-chair of the Working Group for recreation councils to make a new City Council policy in 2018. I am also on the Board for Mental Health America and heading up a development project for them. And I have made two “Angel” investments in health care companies (one a start-up from UCSD) and am on the Advisory Board for another start-up in the area. While all of this activity has been volunteer, I have enjoyed it immensely and feel I am making a difference in my and our San Diego community.
What event or realization served as a ‘turning point’ for during your Rady School and/or professional career?
Surgery is a physical job. Having my neck and back issues result in 4 spine surgeries and a neck disability was an unintended reality for me. To make a successful transition from a very active person to a more physically limited capacity is difficult. Broadening my skill-set has made other avenues possible. The Park Board manages over 44,000 acres of parks in the San Diego community. Another Board member said “I don’t think we need a surgeon for this Board but your MBA is very useful.“ I disagree a little with that analysis in that surgical training creates a very focused mind with logical processes but the MBA gives the skills to do the analysis.
What was your favorite class and why?
After being out of school for 25 years, Quantitative Analysis was very difficult, but it has been very useful.
How did your view of entrepreneurship/innovation change throughout your time at the Rady School?
Completely — I am now an Angel Investor.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Remember that while this is school, you are learning actual skills to use in the work place. Take each project seriously, you never know what you might actually learn from it. I had a research project where I had to do tracheotomies in baby rats (so I practiced over and over again), then a few years later I had to do an emergency tracheostomy in a 22-week gestational age baby girl who was not much bigger in 30 seconds. Who knew I’d been practicing in the lab.
What is the most memorable moment from your Rady School experience?
Being almost 50 and in a graduation robe again with a lot of great friends!
Did you participate in StartR/mystartupxx? If so, how did these programs impact your MBA experience?
After graduation: mystartupxx. It put a ‘real-world’ take on our project.
Tell us a fun fact about you, or something people may not know about you.
I am a “failed foster” puppy mom. While volunteering at Labs and More, another Non-Profit, I took Ari home to bandage and heal his ear which had been largely bitten off. As he recovered, he got along with my other 3: Lexi, an 7-year old Husky, PT Barnum, a 13-year old Miniature Poodle, and Bailey, a 13-year old Rat Terrier; that I had to adopt him. It’s a circus at my house!