Hometown: New Milford, Conn.
Major: Business Administration
WCSU Degree: Master of Business Administration
Internships: Nine-month rotation in the Oncology Marketing department
Activities: Works full-time at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical Co.
Honors and Awards: GPA 3.84, received the WCSU Alumni Association Graduate Award for two years
Meredith Liberto graduated from WCSU in 2009 with an American Chemical Society-accredited degree in biochemistry and quickly found herself employed as a research scientist at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceutical Co.
Five years later, she is graduating from Western again — this time with a Master of Business Administration. "I decided early in my career that I did not want to pursue a Ph.D.," she says. "I felt an M.B.A. would provide the diversity and flexibility that I was looking for in terms of career development and opportunities, and an M.B.A. coupled with my scientific background would add more value to my career aspirations, compared to other degrees."
Liberto returned to Western for graduate school, she says, "Because I needed a program that provided flexibility and affordability. Since I was working full time, I needed night classes with a reasonable commute. I was also funding the degree myself, and I was not interested in student loans. To complete the 54-credit M.B.A. program part-time, it took me approximately five years."
As she moved through the M.B.A. program, Liberto says she "really gravitated toward my marketing classes and found myself eager to learn more." As a result, she worked with her employer to participate in a nine-month rotation in Boehringer Ingelheim's Oncology Marketing department. "Professionally, I wanted to explore opportunities that would combine my new-found interest in marketing with my scientific background," she says. "My rotation, currently ongoing, has allowed me to work with a wonderful group of mentors, gain marketing experience in oncology and digital media, and develop critical skills such as project and budget management, conflict resolution and influencing others."
Liberto says two of her instructors, Dr. Karen Koza and Dr. Cindy Chuang, were outstanding business professors. "Their classes truly combined academic study with real-world application and simulation," she says. "Their classes were extremely challenging and difficult at times, but I took so much away from these two women, personally and professionally." She also said the interaction with her fellow students made the M.B.A. program extremely worthwhile. "Some of my greatest mentors were my classmates, each sharing unique experiences in the business world and milestones in their careers. Only in the M.B.A. program could I sit down with a CIO, naval intelligence officer and an accountant to work together on a problem and create a viable solution."
After graduation, Liberto says that what she has planned is, surprisingly, more school. "I would really like to pursue professional certifications in digital marketing or project management; however, for now, I am enjoying this big accomplishment and adding more travel opportunities onto the bucket list."
Liberto's advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Invest in opportunities that you are passionate about. You never know where a network or opportunity will take you. Start building your toolbox early, and try not to get frustrated or discouraged if things do not work out right away. Keep your eye on the prize! Also, always send a hand-written thank-you note. It really does make a difference.”