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"Reset the Achievable, Reinvent What's Possible": Anthony's Story

Here's what "breaking through" has meant for one recent MBA at Johnson & Johnson—and why pushing boundaries, taking on challenges and being challenged to grow are the cornerstones of our culture.

Coming out of the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, Anthony Kang was eager to "break through": to apply his expertise to new challenges and make bold, real-world impact. But there was just one question on his mind: "Will I continue to grow, feel engaged with and be energized by my work?"

At Johnson & Johnson, he'll tell you the answer is 1,000%.

"I say '1,000%' because I’ve been able to take a leadership role and drive collaboration across the enterprise," Anthony explained. "I'm also building the next generation of leaders and working to 'future-proof' the company. All of that means pushing boundaries in a big way."

He added, "I've learned so much by going through the fire."

"Going Through the Fire"

Almost immediately, Anthony discovered that taking on new challenges would be the expectation for him at Johnson & Johnson, not the exception to the rule.

When the company recently acquired Vogue, for example, Anthony found he was the only HR leader working onsite to support the integration.

"That really pushed my boundaries to be resourceful and build the right networks," he recalled. "I had to find answers to questions that I might not have had the answers to initially. Being there by myself forced me to be creative, to think on my feet and to make and own decisions—all in real time. Leadership took a chance and put me in a role outside my comfort zone. I’ve embraced the opportunity and shaped it in my own unique way."

Plus, it proved to be excellent preparation for Anthony's next role with Actelion, part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, where he's supporting one of the largest integrations in our history.

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Every day, our mission is to reset the achievable and reinvent what's possible.

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The work is also personally meaningful for Anthony: "I’m helping to build teams that bring treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) to life. Actelion works on treatments for rare diseases—the mortality rates are high, and the symptoms are debilitating. So on a daily basis, I'm able to reflect on how everything I'm doing is helping patients have a better quality of life. For example, the goal of market access is to ensure patients have access to drugs, and as an HR business partner, my job is to help bring that goal to life."

"How Can We Uber-ize This Process?"

Anthony's had other breakthrough moments, as well. Not long after joining Johnson & Johnson, he was asked to co-lead Generation Now, an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for millennials.

It's a role in which he's thrived, and today the group claims over 8,000 members globally. Anthony describes the mission of the group as comprising three parts: first, to help "future-proof" the enterprise—that is, to look ahead and prepare the company for change— second, to serve as a source of strategic insight and third to enhance the overall employee experience.

What does that look like in practice? Anthony pointed to three examples.

  • "We help bring more diverse perspectives into the conversation around innovation. For example, by having our ERG members participate in pulse surveys and business-led focus groups, we can generate valuable insights that lead to value creation and tangible outcomes for our key strategic partners, businesses—and so much more."
  • "Our aspiration is to re-imagine development across the company by providing different types of experiences and creating new channels and digital learning communities. As we think about the future of work, we want to shape the way we upskill our workforce and future-proof our next generation of J&J leaders. One question I like to ask is: How can we Uber-ize this process?"
  • "Johnson & Johnson is a 132-year-old start-up. We're approaching problems with a start-up mentality and spreading that way of thinking across the enterprise. For example, how do we embrace failures? How can we think and behave in new ways? These are critical questions for us right now."

Connect Your MBA to Real-World Impact Today

You'll find that MBAs at Johnson & Johnson have abundant opportunities to put their backgrounds and training into practice every day, as Anthony can attest. "My knowledge of business strategy gives me a foundation and helps me shape our talent strategies alongside all of our business partners," he said.

So if you’re ready to join us, and break through at Johnson & Johnson, be sure to explore our Leadership Development Programs (LDPs)—many of which are specifically designed for MBAs—and check out all of the ways you can become a part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies today.

Explore More Break Through Stories

  • Bring your break through

    A breakthrough isn't really a moment at all—and they happen all the time at Johnson & Johnson. They take many forms but they all share one purpose: to change the trajectory of health for humanity.

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