Meet Our Class of 2018 Fellows: Claire Rhodes

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

Claire is an MBA candidate at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. She grew up in North Andover, a town 30 minutes North of Boston. She attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst where she obtained a degree in Psychology Neuroscience. She went on to work in a hematology/ oncology lab at Boston Children’s Hospital. In 2015, Claire joined bluebird bio, a small biotechnology company located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Claire worked in the immunotherapy group where she investigated innovative technologies to promote research and development regarding T-cell based therapies for patients. Throughout her time at bluebird she executed many different initiatives to fuel bluebird bio’s product pipeline. She supervised multiple projects simultaneously that drove scientific understanding for future technologies and organized multiple cross-functional teams to execute on imperative company goals. She also developed new processes to create more efficient manufacturing platforms, managed three external collaborations, as well as directed and managed an Associate Scientist and 5+ laboratory team. Claire loved going to work everyday knowing that her work was making a difference and that she was bringing hope to many patient’s lives!

On top of her day job, Claire also founded an LGBTQ+ employee resource group at bluebird bio. As the leader of the group, she organized multiple internal and external events, administered monthly leadership meetings, presented on behalf of the group to the bluebird executive leadership team and communicated goals and activities to 600+ employees. She was also an active member of the Diversity & Inclusion Strategy team, the women inspiring leadership development group, bluebird bio’s community outreach group, green action planning and triathlon team. Claire hopes to continue her work in the LGBTQ+ and women development space at Boston University and companies that she will be apart of in the future!

What made you consider business school?

I have been considering business school ever since I left my undergraduate program. As I worked in the research arm of a biotechnology company I realized my future interests went beyond the scope of the laboratory. With my experience and scientific knowledge, I understand from a research perspective what it takes to bring a new product to patients. I hope to further expand my knowledge on how I can make an impact in healthcare through business while at BU.

What are you most excited about in terms of your time in business school?

I am most excited to meet all my classmates and make long lasting connections. I think one of the most valuable parts of business school is the opportunity to interact with a diverse set of people that come from many different backgrounds and industries. I look forward to learning about everyone’s individual experiences and expertise.

Who are some leaders (in the LGBT community, in business, or in society) that most inspire you?

Ellen DeGeneres and her positive attitude and kindness. Tim Cook’s humility and dedication. Megan Smith’s courage and value for collaboration.

What's one thing everyone should know about you?

I am slightly obsessed with my Apple Watch. I will do anything to get my daily activity (so don't be surprised if I am walking around everywhere I go)! In my free time I love to run, snowboard, hike and be outside.

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