Fletcher Features

Business Consulting in an International Context: Tatiana Popa (F10) and Pfizer

Tatiana Popa MIB F10

Tatiana Popa (F10) wanted to go to business school, but she thought the curriculum at a traditional MBA program would be too narrow.

As the Moldova native researched different options, she was struck by the way the Master of International Business degree at The Fletcher School combines business and international affairs. She knew about Fletcher’s strong reputation and was excited about what was, at the time, a brand-new program. So she enrolled.

Fletcher gave Popa exactly what she hoped for: an understanding of how business operates in an international context.

Since just after graduation, Popa has been working as a business strategy consultant for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Because her team works with 66 countries in the Middle East and Africa, the knowledge she gained at Fletcher has been invaluable.

“My job is very much at the intersection of business and international affairs,” says Popa. “Pfizer is a large multinational firm. I work in emerging markets, and I have to look holistically at business and government.”

One of Popa’s recent projects required her to work with government officials in a middle-income African country, asking them to permit the sale of a vaccine Pfizer had developed. To be successful, she needed to convince them that the vaccine would benefit their citizens. Nobody else on her team possessed enough knowledge of Africa to be able to navigate this complex situation.

But thanks in large part to her experience at Fletcher, Popa knew that an understanding of this nation’s per capita income, its level of health and the policies of its neighboring countries would help her as she sought approval for the vaccine.

“At Fletcher, you learn a lot about many countries, so I was asked to take this project in my own hands and develop a business case,” she says. “My Fletcher education and my experience gave me an edge.”

--Dan Eisner
(Reprinted from Fletcher News)