Mary Curtis, ’94
I worked at Baxter International for over a decade, first as a microbiologist and then in business development. I off ramped to raise my family but decided to return to a career in 2016. While I had done plenty of volunteering during my time off, I didn’t think about the need to build transferable skills or to keep my resume current so felt there was an initial hurdle to overcome.
I attended the Booth ReLaunch workshop, which helped me start thinking about what I was looking for and how I could demonstrate valuable skills through my volunteer work. BANC was a great stepping stone and a way for me to fill the hole in my resume. My project with One Million Degrees, a nonprofit that helps students in Chicago community colleges, allowed me to demonstrate concrete skills- critical thinking, research, working in groups, data analysis, jumping into a new organization, evaluating problems and creating recommendations. After being out for two decades, I gained new skills and could learn and apply them right away. Working with my Booth group was also an incredible experience, everyone was generous with their time and knowledge and it was great to be surrounded by alumni.
I credit my BANC project as critical for having received a job offer with Fermilab, where I now work. My first experience was so positive that I chose to work on a second project with Prevent Blindness, which provides information on eye care and eyesight. Ultimately, I’ve loved staying connected to Booth through BANC. It was a rewarding experience and I’m grateful for the opportunities they provided me.