In her current role as Senior Manager II, Strategic Planning & PMO at Walmart Health & Wellness, Jaclyn Ochsner, MBA/Pharm D, `19 works within a centralized strategy and program management team, fully supporting the business leaders within the pharmacy portfolio at the same time. 

Her key role is to facilitate the organization and execution of the strategic objectives. “To put it simply,” she said, “My priorities and responsibilities are dependent on the strategic priorities as far as which projects I manage and see through to execution. This is essential to executing the overall strategy for Walmart Health & Wellness in order to contribute to the enterprise mission of saving patients money, so they can live better.”

Ochsner has previously supported workflow redesign projects including launching a project for implementation across Walmart’s entire fleet of stores. She states, “I never had a full appreciation for the size and scale of our company until that project - and would later be further surprised by the level of impact with COVID-19 vaccine work.” 

She has also supported the planning and implementation of a new central fill site to service Walmart’s pharmacies. Most recently, she supported the planning, enrollment, implementation, and execution of Covid-19 vaccine distribution and administration. “For this effort, I am the full-time program management lead alongside our Vice President of Operations Support and Implementation to lead a large, cross-functional group of internal and external stakeholders in vaccinating millions across the country.” 

When asked what motivated her to pursue the MBA as part of the PharmD/MBA dual degree program at UK, Ochsner gave both personal and professional reasons. “ While pursuing my undergraduate education at UK in preparation for pharmacy school, I found a passion for my business classes. Growing up, I often dreamed of running my own business and working in a professional setting. I watched my dad run his own tool business for many years and my mom worked as an accountant for a large company in Louisville. I would answer our home phone, which was a business line for my dad's company, and take tool orders at a very young age. I was inspired by their work ethic, and they always taught me to dream big.”

Ultimately, Ochsner believes the skills learned during the program have helped her confidently advance and lead in her current career. For example, the program was instrumental in helping her develop both hard and soft skills for success in a professional business environment, and it challenged her to think differently and consider scenarios and concepts holistically. 

She elaborates, “Two of the most critical elements to succeed in my job each day are to influence individuals without direct authority and problem-solving quickly while thinking globally about the challenge at hand. The UK MBA program stresses the importance of relationships, understanding group dynamics, and working with a diverse team of people to solve problems. These skills may not be immediately recognized at the point of completing many group projects, but the benefits will carry each student far beyond their time in the UK MBA program.”