Bronco Spotlight: Mary-Claire Cotner

Image of Mary-Claire Cotner

Bachelor of Science, university studies, 2015

Business Analyst & Clinical Research Assistant at University of Michigan Health System

I am very fortunate that I work in STEM in both the science and technology sector. I work in the department of Gastroenterology at the University of Michigan Health System as a clinical research assistant. I utilize my laboratory and writing skills I learned in undergrad at WMU. I also work as a business analyst at the University of Michigan Health System. I analyze our highly complex technical operations.

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I'm making an impact on a large group of people whether it's research progress being made in the research lab and office or the improvements my team and I make in the IT department that impacts clinical care. I feel fortunate to do work that serves others. The most challenging part of my job is operating in a large healthcare system - it's not easy getting everyone's name right on the first try.

Which of your skills had the biggest impact on your success?

My resilience, grit, and mentorship experience yield the biggest impact on my success. My resilient mindset translates to having a flexible method for making my career dreams come true. It’s important to be flexible and creative in achieving your career goals. Sometimes thinking outside of the box and being flexible about things provides you with career opportunities that otherwise would have been missed. Being a gritty individual helps tremendously. To succeed, you must work very hard over an extended period of time. And lastly, I’ve learned a great deal from mentors. Mentors foster your dreams, provide valuable insight, and open doors to new opportunities.

What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?

Be flexible yet focused on your career goals. Find unique ways to succeed. If one method isn’t working, try a different approach. You may not have a linear trajectory in your career, and that’s okay. Additionally, never underestimate the value of connecting with others. Your family may not have every connection you need to succeed in your career. Networking, meeting individuals in your industry, helps tremendously in your career. There are wonderful people out there who are willing to help you blossom! Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask people for help and career advice!

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