About Leah

Hometown: Leominster, MA
Previous Position: Program Coordinator, Harvard Medical School
Previous University: University of Massachusetts
Undergraduate Degree: Management and Nutrition
Q: Tell us about your previous employment. What drove you to pursue an MBA?

A: My first job was with Sapient, a digital marketing company, where I trained new employees in the U.S. and Europe. It gave me exposure to how a business operates in many countries while also allowing me to develop time management skills needed to succeed in a fast-paced environment. After that, I worked at The Center for Primary Care at Harvard Medical School, where I was a program coordinator for the innovation and entrepreneurship team, managing several projects.

In both roles, I realized that no business strategy is set up for success without financial data closely tied to it. I had experience in project management and marketing, but didn't have the business skillset I needed to see the full picture. I wanted to fill that gap with an MBA degree and a concentration in Finance.

Q: Why did you choose the D'Amore-McKim School of Business?

A: One colleague told me that when I found the right school, I'd know it right away—and it was true. When I came to D'Amore-McKim for Accepted Students Day, there were five future students in my group and it was like we had known each other forever. I had the same feeling with the current students and faculty we met, and everyone seemed thrilled to be a part of D'Amore-McKim and share their story.

Q: How did your experience in the Full-Time MBA program influence your career goals?

A: My interest in biotechnology started when I was working at Harvard Medical School, and I took an interesting course during the first year of my MBA about commercialization of drugs. That course convinced me that I wanted to bridge my degree in business with my passion for biotech. It's an industry where you find a lot of passionate people who are trying to make positive changes in the lives of others.

Q: How did your corporate residency advance your career?

A: My residency was on the financial team at IBM Watson Health, a division of IBM that uses artificial intelligence and big data analysis to help the healthcare industry. When I began the MBA program, my goal was to get experience in finance to prepare for a career in consulting. But when I did my residency in finance, I was surprised by how much I liked the field. It fit perfectly with my concentrations in Corporate Finance and Corporate Innovation.

As a result of that experience, I have accepted a full-time job in finance.

Q: What will you be doing in your new job?

A: I'll soon begin work on the Financial Planning and Analysis team at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, an international company that develops medicines for rare blood and autoimmune diseases. I'll be involved in forecasting expenses for various projects, looking at past performance and future strategy. I will help to analyze how closely the expenses align with forecasts and our current company strategy.

While I am not working on the front line of drug development, everyone in the company is working toward the common goal of helping patients and their families who are affected by these diseases. As a financial analyst, my role is to make sure the company is operating towards a strong financial future to continue to offer these drugs to patients.

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