Mary Donhoffner ’12 ‘18MBA

Alumni Spotlight

Mary DonhoffnerUndergraduate Degree:
BS Psychology, Neuroscience concentration (UMass Amherst, 2011)
PhD Neuroscience (USC, 2017)
MBA, Finance concentration (UMass Amherst/Isenberg, 2018)

Current Position Title and Affiliation:
General Management - Leadership Development (GM-GLDP) at Thermo Fisher Scientific

Summary of Position:
Over the course of two years, I rotate through different business areas throughout the company. Some rotation projects could include leading a team through organization change, improving manufacturing quality standards or creating a go-to-market strategy.

Future Goals:
I love the intersection between science and business. Hence, I see myself continuing to work in the life science industry in the future. I hope to stay at Thermo Fisher for a long-time because I feel comfortable with the culture, I get to work alongside highly talented people and I believe in the company’s mission.

What do you love most about this career path?
Leadership development programs (LDPs) are intended to put you in different rotation experiences over a set period, so you can learn a lot about the business, as well as have exposure to different company leaders to quickly develop as a professional. I recommend them to those who enjoy being challenged (“go-getters”) and are comfortable working in ambiguity. Often, you need to be geographically mobile and flexible so you can rotate through different areas of the company. While the program I am in now is specific to full-time MBA graduates only, Thermo Fisher and other companies offer LDPs to recently graduated undergraduates, as well.

How did UMass and/or Psychological and Brain Sciences help prepare you?
I received a world-class education at UMass. UMass has so many wonderful opportunities not just in the classroom, but also the ability to work with outstanding researchers. I was lucky to learn from talented scientists, as I did research as an undergraduate. These skills were especially important for my PhD training.

Tips for Current Undergrads:
Your time at UMass will go by quickly. Savor times with your friends, but make sure you also make time to get to know faculty. Working in a research lab is an incredible experience. Seek out unique experiences before you go onto work in your career.