Black History Month Edition
Name: Najib Jai
Nicknames: Jeeb, Jibber, Gilbert, G-Bear
Originated From: Fayetteville, North Carolina
Undergrad Institution: Duke University
Job Before Booth: (never had a real job, maybe once…) Medical Student – University of Chicago
okay…now for the good stuff:
Prior To Booth
Growing up, Najib always wanted to be a doctor – specifically a neurological surgeon. So much so, that if you were to read his college application essay, that was his manifesto. However, prior to Duke, he had never taken a class in physics, calculus or chemistry – yet still ended up being a chemistry major (kind of amazing, considering I definitely had to retake, withdraw or failed all of those at Vandy) .
At Duke, Najib had a mentor who was randomly assigned to him who just happened to be the Dean of Admissions for Duke Med – Dr.Brenda Armstrong. Like his other mother, she kindly gave him life advice. One of the most important things that she urged him to do was to take a gap year and go work, do something, that would show him a world outside of a traditional MD route.
So, he became a research chemist – a largely unremarkable and exceedingly boring year for young Najib. But, it gave him an opportunity to think about what he wanted to do with his life, and opened his mind to explore what other avenues lie alongside the world of medicine.
During that pretty boring year, he met someone in the impact investing space. He didn’t know that it was a space or a real job. And if you don’t know what it is, don’t feel bad – most people don’t. Impact investing refers to investments “made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return”. Impact investments provide capital to address social and/or environmental issues.
Anyways, this excited Najib and he began to explore what was important to him as his med school offers began to roll in. As he looked at his decisions, he realized that he wanted to do something in the medical space that was analytical and interpersonal while having a large scale impact on the overall healthcare system. With this in mind – Business School was inevitable. Which brought him to the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and ultimately Booth School of Business.
As a third year medical student Najib started his first year at Booth alongside myself. He’s not practicing medicine. He’s not pursing residency. He’s entering the world of Healthcare private equity. And thats pretty dam cool.
If You Didn’t Have To Work What Would You Do:
Move to hollywood to become an actor (show off his hot bod)
Best Trip Of Your Life Thus Far:
Central America my first year of medical school. Went on a cruise with 10 of his med school buddies – were definitely the youngest on the cruise by 15+ years. Solidified bonds that mean everything to me now.
Currently Reading / Listening to:
What do you think made you unique in the MBA app process?
He’s a doctor duh. My mom is from Haiti, Dad is from Morocco. I lived in 7 different cities and went to 7 different schools. I grew up around so many different types of people and all of those experiences gave me my personality and who I am today.
What App Needs To Be Made:
Takes pictures of you making a variety of expressions that makes them into a collection of emojis – promise you it will exist in the next 2 years
Favorite Disney Movie:
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (he really likes that one)
What Job Would You Be Terrible At :
Anything that would require someone to be able to read my handwriting
What Age Do You Want To Live Until:
98 – only if I’m still fully functional and can swim and do like old people water aerobics. I need that high quality of life until at least 95.
Best Patient Experience:
Ms.M – a 65 year old lifetime resident of Hyde Park. She came in with a little bit of a cough, but for all intensive purposes was an incredibly healthy woman. When I walked into her room, her eyes lit up because she was so excited to see a medical student or doctor that looked like her. She showed me how important diversity is within healthcare spaces.
Favorite basketball Player:
Lebron James. Kobe is a close 2nd (RIP)
Top Songs Right Now:
The Box by Roddy Rich
Dreams by Lil’ Wayne
Sometimes It Snows In April by Prince
Girl With The Tattoo by Miguel
Ode to Fellow Med School Students and Pre-Med Peeps
I’ve been fortunate to be the product of incredible mentors throughout my career, especially in medicine. I’ve also been fortunate enough have mentees throughout this process this have made this process full circle.
I want to emphasize that the MD is an incredibly versatile degree. You don’t have to have an MBA to be versatile. You don’t have to do anything less than you want to be or do. If you are interested in healthcare investing or consulting or something outside of healthcare – go do it. It’s your life – live it.
Far too often people in healthcare think that they are stuck and that they only have one option. When in reality, people should do exactly what they do that will make them happy and nothing less than that.
The biggest mistake that people make in this field is believing that practicing medicine is the only possible journey. That’s a farce. Explore the world of healthcare and you may just find a path that let’s you achieve your dreams.
What Do You Wish You Knew More About:
Art. I want to learn how to really understand and take in a painting. How to appreciate architecture and culinary intricacies.
Best Trip Of Your Life Thus Far:
Central america First year of medical school – cruise with 10 of his med school buddies to central ameria – youngest on cruise by 15+ years. Solidified bonds that mean everything to him now.
What Is Worth Splurging On Everytime:
A fun time with my people. If it involves my friends – it’s worth splurging. You can’t put a dollar amount on having a great time with the people you love. (honestly this is up for discussion, because I have too many instances of Jib backing out of plans)
My family was so obsessed with this commercial that we adopted a chihuahua and named him nacho.
How Will You Make Your Life A “Good Life”?
Surround myself with amazing people. Only ever do things that I am passionate about and genuinely get energy from during my career. Never take life or any situation too seriously. Cliche – but real stuff.
Do You Think That Aliens Exist?
100% without a doubt. The Universe is far too big for us to be the only intelligent living beings.
What’s The Hardest Lesson You’ve Learned Thus Far?
Sometimes progress can be equal parts painful and feel like you’re moving backwards at the same dam time – but it’s still progress.
In my life, some of the most important things that were happening to me seemed like major set backs and mistakes. But, for the most part, each one ended up being incredibly important to me moving forward, growing and developing as a person.
Worst Patient Experience:
A lot of people don’t know that when you get liposuction, sometimes bowel movements are very hard to pass. For some patients it may take days. Let me just say, a resident and I had a very interesting experience literally pulling poop out of this patient. First time I ever gagged in the hospital. (take note friends)
What Lifestyle Changes Are You Trying To Make?
I want to live a more balanced life. I’m the kind of person that when I’m involved in something, I’m overly involved and committed. I don’t always do a great job of balancing this all well and will weight certain things more than I should. Maintaining balance on all the things that are important to me and not fixated on any one thing is what I am learning to do.
What Do You Think Makes A Good Friend – How Much Do You Live Up To Your Standards?
Someone who is incredibly honest with you when you don’t want them to be and simultaneously cares about you’re well being and happiness. When an individual will remind you of who you are and whats important, but will do so in a way that is in your best interest no matter what – they’re a real friend.
I try my best to live up to that, and sometimes falls short, but that’s life.
What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?
Visit every Continent
In some capacity I want to be in a movie – even if it’s a cameo (do y’all see a trend here, can someone make this happen?)
Most Memorable Gift That You’ve Ever Received:
Advice from my late mentor Dr.Brenda Armstrong who passed in 2018. She told me to always move forward, never question my failures and that things happen the exact way that they are supposed to happen.
Who Do You Go Out Of Your Way To Be Nice To?
Black women – especially those that remind me of my mom.
Which Industries Do You Think Will Be Revolutionized Soon?
If Magic Was Real, Which Spell Would You Try First?
Whichever one enables me to fly
What Do You Want To Get Out Of B-School?
A lot. I want to grow as a person. Walk away with people that will be in my life for the rest of my life. And a greater appreciation of what will make me happy in my career
If I am able to make truly informed decision with whatever it is that i choose to do, then I’ll have done something right,
Whats The Oldest Thing That You Own:
My birth certificate
When I was 1, my father made eagles rings. One for me and one for my brother.
To be happy. (which is important)
To have a historically significant impact on healthcare
How Would You Describe Your Booth Experience
More than I could have ever anticipated. Better than I could have ever imagined. Equal parts stressful and incredibly fun with a group of people that I have come to really enjoy.
Sidenote: Najib is a pretty good basketball player (even though he didn’t play in the Kellog vs Booth game and we desperately needed him as we got our asses kicked at the United Center #sad). Anyways, I’m always telling him to stop getting hurt at the gym and this is his most recent basketball injury – elbowed in the face on the court & stitches. Luckily he still got his PE offer after having to interview with his face looking like this