“I wasn't planning to abandon the life science industry but I didn't want to continue working as a scientist. Instead, I hoped to take the analytic skills I'd gained and combine it with my growing interest in business.”
Michael Naimoli, EMTM’05
Director, U.S. Life Sciences
Michael Naimoli, EMTM’05
A Degree of Difference A Turning Point Opportunity
A scientist by training, Mike Naimoli studied medical microbiology at Penn State before starting his career in the pharmaceutical industry. He worked in drug discovery and manufacturing for two small startup biotech companies before he was hired by GlaxoSmithKline to lead a team responsible for the technology transfer of biopharmaceutical products from R&D to manufacturing. While there, he became intrigued by the operations outside of the laboratory and he started wondering how he might marry his working experience with new challenges. "I wasn't planning to abandon the life science industry but I didn't want to continue working as a scientist. Instead, I hoped to take the analytic skills I'd gained and combine it with my growing interest in business."
Mike was looking at Wharton's MBA program when he first learned about EMTM. "I loved that it was a degree that combined management with a continued focus on technology and the impact of technology on business. The program seemed more appropriate for the kind of work I wanted to do." Mike visited the campus and was impressed with the dedicated faculty and students he met. EMTM was the only program he applied to and when he was accepted, he enrolled as a self-sponsored candidate, attending full-time (Fridays and Saturdays) while he continued his career as a healthcare and life sciences consultant.
EMTM marked a turning point for Mike's career. "As I was finishing the program I learned that Microsoft was starting a new life sciences industry unit that would provide IT infrastructure and partner solutions for pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical device companies. I was offered a position, and I jumped on it." When he was hired Mike's manager told him that his degree had set him apart from other candidates.
At Microsoft, Mike now manages a virtual team of 15 life sciences industry partners and he feels that the program's emphasis on teamwork and the opportunity to meet with other business leaders prepared him well for his current role. In the Corporate Application Project elective, for instance, he worked with fellow students to help Motorola identify future technological trends and business opportunities. "In the Leadership class I developed a clear vision of obtainable solutions and I learned the best ways to communicate that vision. On the job I've seen how much my coworkers appreciate that skill."
In his new position Mike is often asked to trust his own instincts, and EMTM gave him the foundation he needed. "The program really taught me how to address problems using my innate analytical ability. I often use marketing concepts to approach my customers and determine the best solutions for them. More than anything, I would emphasize that EMTM gave me both business fundamentals in an emerging technology context and the confidence to apply them."