Vice President, Program & Alliance Management at Acer Therapeutics Inc.
Degree: MS in Management
Kristin Mulready ’15 was initially drawn to research and development in biotechnology, earning a BA in Biology from Colby Sawyer College and beginning her career in cancer research at a clinical-stage biotech company. Over the course of nine years in the lab she developed a newfound interest in organizational behavior, which lead her to a role as an alliance manager on a new medical product the company was developing. Her responsibility increased over the next seven years, when she decided it was time to pursue a master’s degree in order to move confidently into the next phase in her career.
As she researched graduate programs, Kristin was attracted by Lasell’s small school setting and robust support for students coming from a wide range of professional backgrounds. The convenience and flexibility of Lasell’s program was paramount, as she knew that she’d be balancing family life, professional obligations, and her studies. Going back to school at this point in her life was a family effort, and Kristen fondly remembers spending many evenings at the kitchen table working on homework alongside her two children. Now, as a Senior Director in Program and Alliance Management at Mersana Therapeutics, that hard work is paying off. Kristin is putting her technical knowledge, professional experience, and Lasell MS to work as she strives to enhance internal communications and drive operational strategy for her company.
What appealed to you most about Lasell’s program?
When I realized I wanted to go back to graduate school, many of the initial MBA programs I looked at would have required a significant lifestyle change in order to juggle my other obligations. Luckily, I had a great mentor who helped me focus on what I really needed, which was to further my education in a way that was manageable for someone with both family and work responsibilities. Lasell was a natural fit – among other things, the program is flexible, so I could accelerate when I wanted to or dial it back if work became more demanding.
What support systems did you take advantage of during your time at Lasell?
My academic advisor at Lasell, Gillian Stanley, helped me establish a healthy work-life balance – she was always available to talk through the curriculum and my academic track, and was very responsive to my needs and schedule. I also found that my professors respected and understood my professional experience and that of my classmates. They were highly engaged in both my online and on-campus courses.
As someone who came back to grad school after nearly 20 years in the professional world, what advice do you have for working students?
I got my master’s late in life, and yet the timing couldn’t have been better for my career. I had a great deal of experience from the nearly 20 years I spent in the working world, and therefore I had a deep appreciation for what I was learning and how it would help me professionally. As for making it work with a family and professional responsibilities, it’s really all about balance. Family, work, and other commitments all compete for your time, but Lasell is very clear about the hours required to complete your work. Use that to your advantage, and calibrate what you need to put in so you’re able to get the most out of the program.
Tuesday, September 18 @ 6:30 p.m.