Alumni Profile

Spanish Alumni

Craig Duffy '06

Clinical Logistics Specialist, Biogen Idec, Cambridge, MA

Spanish Major

I think a lot of people say they appreciate the community at Saint Michael's, and I certainly did, but looking back, I appreciate the academic experience even more. It was holistic and definitely opened my eyes to new ideas and different ways of thinking.

I work for Biogen Idec, a biotech company based in Cambridge, MA. We make and research and distribute drugs that treat conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease and hemophilia.

I manage the drug supply and logistics for our global clinical trial sites. When I don't have delivery emergencies, I’m planning inventories to be sure we’re meeting clinical trial dosing schedules on time.

I was a Spanish major and spent a full academic year abroad in Spain. That combined with the academic experience of studying different languages opened my eyes to being more culturally sensitive as well.

I always say you don't have to be a business major to work in a corporate setting, and I'm an example of that.  I’m an example of the other opportunities out there.

My most influential mentor was Spanish Professor Carolyn Lukens-Olsen. She is a true academic and wants to share her passion for Spanish language and culture with her students. We e-mail maybe every other month to a catch up and it’s all in Spanish!

I would tell current students to take advantage of every opportunity that you can, whether it's getting involved in more sports, intramural or varsity, or other activities, but take advantage of every one you can. Four years goes by faster than you think -- it really will.

How did Saint Michael's, and specifically your major, help you get where you are today?

I feel I left Saint Michael's with a truly superb education, and thank the professors in the Spanish department for their dedication and enthusiasm which inspired me to spend a full academic year studying abroad in Spain. My study abroad experience was truly life changing - I grew so much and came back much more confident speaking, reading and writing in Spanish. The international exposure continues to help me in my job today. I am currently working as a Customs Specialist for the adidas-Group at the Reebok world headquarters outside of Boston. I work with people around the world on a daily basis and my major and study abroad experience left me with a heightened sensitivity and understanding when working with people in different cultures and backgrounds.

What specifically about Saint Michael's helped you to find success in the real world?

The liberal arts curriculum was a big asset to helping me find success. I feel I left Saint Michael's with excellent writing, public speaking and critical thinking skills and an overall holistic view of the world in which we live. Saint Michael's truly inspires its students to think globally, something which is becoming increasingly important in today's world.

Of which of your achievements are you most proud?

I'm very proud of what I gained from my study abroad experience - I feel I came back after a year abroad with much more confidence in myself, not to mention major improvements to my Spanish skills. In my personal life, I just completed my 10th marathon and will soon be finishing up my graduate studies in a part-time MBA program that I am in.

What advice do you have for prospective students considering Saint Michael's?

I would tell prospective students to find things they are passionate about and pursue them as much as they can - from activities to sports to academics. I knew when I applied to Saint Michael's that I wanted to be a Spanish major and I think it has been one of the best decisions I have ever made - and proof that you don't have to be a Business major to work in a corporate setting! Take advantage of every opportunity you can - four years goes by very quickly!

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