Director of Business Operations (BizOps)
Healthline is a 300-person healthcare media startup based in San Francisco. They create content around diseases, medications, treatment options, and promote healthy lifestyle living.
Director of Business Ops and Strategy
2017 - Present
Private Equity Associate
2014 - 2016
Senior Associate Consultant
2011 - 2014
Bachelor of Business Administration - BBA
University of Michigan
What does biz ops actually mean At healthline?
Business Operations and Strategy at Healthline is a cross-functional team that helps the company grow efficiently and effectively. Our work centers around:
(1) providing analytics
(2) leading cross-functional projects
(3) working on company strategy and new business initiatives
RECENT PROJECT: helping the content team make our content creation model more scalable. We produce over 700 pieces a month, which creates complexity and inefficiencies over time. BizOps partnered with the content and product teams to identify areas where we could streamline the process.
What led you to healthline? What led you to bizops and strategy?
I joined Healthline because it was at an exciting point in its growth and I felt I could make an impact as part of the BizOps team. On top of that, Healthline is a very mission-driven company, with people who are passionate about changing consumer healthcare. To me, that would make the work all the more energizing.
These are what generated the initial interest, but what ultimately pushed me over was my boss Cheryl Kim. She was super passionate about building out the BizOps team and I could tell would be a great mentor. This has proven to be invaluable in my experience and development, and I would never overlook the importance of working for and with great people that will help you grow.
ADVICE: When searching for opportunities, consider factors beyond the Company's external reputation.
Also consider the opportunity for growth and whether you see your manager as a strong mentor.
Is your role different from the job description you read?
I think the situation at Healthline was a bit unique; the only defined component in the original job description focused on business process and analytics for our content team. From there, however, it quickly evolved into working on many parts of the business as new opportunities come up and the company faced new challenges.
Advice: Roles and responsibilities are always changing at fast-growing companies so you should focus more on the team and company rather than the specific role. It will change.
Transition from bain to AEA vs
AEA to heathline?
Bain to AEA: I learned a ton at Bain and it was mostly about adding new ‘technical’ skills around finance and investing. Things like financial modeling, business analytics, valuation, market research, etc.
AEA to Healthline: Moving to Healthline was about leveraging skills in new ways. There were three main differences:
(1) Mindset shift from being an advisor / investor to a hands-on operator
(2) Moving from a manager-directed role to a self-directed
(3) Added element of managing a team.
Can you share a lesson from each company you've worked at?
Bain and consulting: A problem well framed is a problem half solved. Take absolute ownership of your work.
AEA: The value of two skills: (1) being able to synthesize large amounts of information into key insights, and (2) pattern recognition
Healthline: In high-growth companies, it really is true that the only constant is change (sorry for the terrible cliche). It's critical to prioritize the highest impact 1-3 things to work on, which includes “saying no” to things that may not have as great an impact
any advice to consultants thinking about joining a startup?
It's super important to go somewhere where you have someone to be your mentor and champion. The most important factor that has made my Healthline experience awesome is that I report to someone who’s passionate about the bizops function, and understands what the consultant profile brings to the table.
Particularly early in your career, you need someone who’s passionate about what you bring, and who will give you opportunities to grow. So, pay attention to who you’re working for, and don’t settle on this dimension.