Current title/organization: Director of Business Development – Licensing, Addgene
Q: Why did you choose the NC State Jenkins MBA program for your graduate education?
A: I was coming out to the Master of Microbial Biotechnology (MMB) program at NC State. As such, I was able to finish my MBA in 1 year since I already took some business classes through the MMB program. A large part of my decision came down to the cost savings associated with 1 year versus going to a different program where it would have taken 2. Also, given the MMB program, i was partial to the BioScience program at NC State.
Q: How did your experience in the program contribute to your professional achievements and successes?
A: A lot of the soft skills become necessary in my subsequent roles. Also, I negotiate contracts and business relationship regularly for my positions. And, the various aspects of the Bioscience program have played into my job.
Q: What advice do you have for prospective Jenkins MBA students?
A: I always suggest you know your purpose for the degree. A degree for a degree sake doesn’t mean much. However, you should make sure that the pathway you want to travel in life is open by your degree. And, if possible, you might want to make sure your degree gives you a few paths as you never really know how things will work.
Q: What advice would you give for prospective and current students who are interested in your industry/profession?
A: For what I do, there is a need for a strong science background. The business degree is not required but it’s helpful since i don’t have a PhD or a law degree. In the end, I think the flexibility afforded through the MBA is my biggest strength. I can think like a scientist as well as business person. I don’t fit into a small box.
Q: Could you give a brief explanation of your current line of work, and what has led you to it?
A: For the last 6-7 years, I’ve worked in two different organizations. I’ve mostly worked in Business Development and Licensing for research reagent companies in the biotechnology world. In the current role, I’ve also started to lead the technology transfer group for my organization. Tech transfer is typically thought about on the academic side. It the part of a university that helps to manage inventions generated by researchers at said university. Thus, they work towards making sure the research can benefit the public.
Q: What do you believe is your most interesting accomplishment since graduation?
A: I’m most proud of the relationships I’ve built in my positions since graduation. I’ve literally set up a meeting with a potential business partner and was offered a job within 5 minutes of started that conversation. I didn’t take a job but it did lead to a successful relationship. And, as that person has changed roles (along with myself), we still have a business relationship.