Developing a managerial mindset with the M.S. in Biotechnology Program

Matthew Brieger, MS in Biotechnology graduate

As Matthew Brieger climbed the career ladder for chemists at MilliporeSigma, a life science research company in Madison, he developed an interest in management. He knew a master’s degree could help him move into management roles, but not just any program would do. Enter the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Master of Science in Biotechnology Program.

“I didn’t want a master’s program that taught me a lot about a little,” Brieger explains.

With the M.S. in Biotechnology Program, Brieger developed ample knowledge about many aspects of the biotechnology industry, including molecular technologies, business strategies and practices, and legal considerations. He also gained specialized skills in product development and technology-based entrepreneurship, which prepared him to pursue a variety of career paths.

Along the way, the two-year program taught Brieger how to approach problems more strategically. He applied what he was learning to his work at MilliporeSigma, which led to important improvements in operations and the execution of manufacturing projects. Brieger became skilled at assessing how decisions might shape the whole business rather than a specific project or department.

Client-focused solutions

Brieger’s new strategy-focused mindset helped him become a project manager at MilliporeSigma shortly after graduation. Thanks to his regulatory courses, he began assessing individual clients’ needs based the latest clinical stage or phase of development they had reached. This conserved time and money, enabling clients to reinvest resources in the development of other products.

In addition to learning how to conserve others’ time through efficient project management, Brieger discovered ways to better manage his own time while pursuing his master’s. Like many of his classmates, he worked full-time during the M.S. in Biotechnology Program, which is geared toward working scientists, business people, attorneys, and other professionals with busy schedules. Classes take place on evenings and weekends, and they’re taught by UW–Madison faculty and biotechnology leaders from private industry.

Now Brieger is on his way to becoming one of these leaders. Last year he began a project manager position at Regis Technologies, a Chicago-area pharmaceutical service firm that helps bring new drugs to the market as quickly as possible.

“I continually use the knowledge and skills I gained in the M.S. in Biotechnology Program,” he says.

Learn more about the Master of Science in Biotechnology Program. The program will accept applications for fall 2019 through May 1, 2019, or until the student cohort is full.