Brooke McDonald’s MMA coursework in finance, logistics and management proved valuable in her job as Senior Financial Analyst at The Jackson Laboratory.
Good Chemistry

The world-renowned Jackson Laboratory is home to some 13 MMA alumni who exemplify how the academy’s educational approach prepared them for a surprising range of jobs.

Brooke McDonald ’08 took a circuitous path from her time as a Maine Maritime Academy graduate student to her position as a senior financial analyst at The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) in Bar Harbor.

After earning her bachelor’s degree in finance from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, she enrolled in the MMA Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics Global Supply Chain Management graduate degree program. Her goal was to expand her knowledge to the maritime industry and take it to a global setting.

Upon graduation in 2008, she was hired by Cianbro, the Maine-based general contractor, as a financial analyst. In 2014, she came across a JAX job posting for a grants financial analyst. Attracted by the opportunity to work for a nonprofit research organization, McDonald found that MMA’s graduate coursework—in areas such as finance, logistics, and management—translated well to her new position.

“The coursework required us to apply principles to solve real-world scenarios. The IBL program encourages teamwork, collaboration, and out-of-the-box thinking,” she says. “This is all relevant to my work at JAX every day.”

When you think about it, McDonald’s path made sense. As one of some 13 MMA graduates employed by JAX, her story reflects the ability of an MMA education to prepare graduates for just about any type of career, whether it’s directly related to the student’s original course of study or not. Thanks to MMA’s approach, with a focus on hands-on learning and innovative thinking, students gain more than a programmatic education. They learn how to follow the natural progression of their interests and adapt the core of their education to new employment opportunities.

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