With a background and several degrees in biochemistry, Lindsey Battaglia began her career in biotechnology doing research and development in the area of microbiology. By her own admission, she’d trained as a scientist for so long it hardly even dawned on her she’d ever do anything else. But four years spent working in a laboratory—compounded by the added life experience that comes with being out of school—brought some new questions into her life. They shifted her focus slightly and had her curious to see what else was out there.
She didn’t look too far at first. Although she hung up her lab coat, she stayed within the pharmaceutical industry and took a position working in sales at a multinational biotech firm. “I’d taken some classes in pharmaceutical marketing while in graduate school,” she says, “so that helped me. But my real strength came from my experience doing the science in the laboratory. My grasp of the products and the biological principles behind them was solid and that’s something that can get you really far when speaking with potential clients.”
But the shift was a substantial one all the same, perhaps even more than she’d realized at first. She was being introduced to a whole new way of thinking and acting in the world. If her grasp of the science remained indisputable, Lindsey admits that the rest of her background hadn’t fully equipped her to navigate some of the purely business components to her new position. Just like in the laboratory, she discovered, there was a body of knowledge here as well and it had its own language—one rooted, she quickly realized, in the rules of financial statistics and accounting.
And so business school was something Lindsey started thinking about as a valuable step she might take for her career. In fact, the more she thought about it, the clearer its value became. The real challenge quickly turned to fitting it into her schedule. Traveling most weeks between Monday and Thursday meant her calendar was often already spilling over. Here’s where the Graham School’s GSALB program crossed Lindsey’s radar and clarified things for her. She calls the assistance the Graham School gave her “too good to be true.”
“The people at the Graham School are amazingly available to help you answer your questions,” Lindsey says. “At other universities where I’ve studied, they might give you a video or a brochure and leave it to you to figure it out. At the Graham School, they take you through every step of the way and make sure you know what your getting into. You’re faced with the prospect of spending so much money,” she adds, “that you want to make sure you make the right decision the first time.”
The words she repeats when describing this part of her journey to business school are “accommodating” and “flexible” and they refer to all aspects of her experience while taking classes as a student in the GSALB program. Seeing that she’d find more of the same as a student at Booth, Lindsey took the next step and applied. She started taking classes this summer as a student in the Booth Evening MBA Program.