Where Are They Now? Melissa K. Palardy '12, '14MS

December 19, 2017

Melissa Palardy

Melissa tells us about her experience as the Marketing Manager for a healthcare startup.

What brought you to Simmons to study in the M.S. Management program?

I studied at Simmons for my undergraduate degree, and wanted to build on my skill set in both marketing and leadership in order to take the next step in my career. Just as I sought out a women-centric education for undergrad, I knew I wanted a women-focused education at the graduate level as well. During my two years in the program, I consistently felt inspired by my classmates and my professors. I was not happy in my role at the time, and realized I needed to be in a work environment that inspired and challenged me as much as this program did. 

What does your job entail?

Being the first marketing hire at PatientPing, it was important to build the foundation for our brand, tone, and voice right off the bat. At the time, our sales team was just starting to form and it was critical that they had the tools they needed to secure business and drive growth. Now that I have been here for two years, my role has evolved to expand the marketing function across other business areas, as well as to build out the team. My job now is to drive user engagement initiatives, content strategy, as well as product marketing. This requires strong communication skills and the ability to cultivate cross-departmental relationships. In addition, at a start-up, flexibility is key. When I started, we were a team of 20; now we are up to nearly 80 people. I could not successfully execute in my role if I was not comfortable with change!

How did Simmons prepare you for your career?

The rigorous coursework and smaller class size made for a truly unique graduate experience. Especially now that I have transitioned into a management role, I re-read all of my old course cases (I've kept everything!) and draw upon those studies in my day-to-day to coach and mentor, as well as to navigate the growing pains teams and organizations often face at this stage in a company's growth.

Why is your work rewarding?

My work is rewarding both because of PatientPing's mission to connect disparate healthcare providers, as well as what I have been able to achieve as an early hire and manager. Having the ability here to coach, mentor, and celebrate successes is incredibly rewarding. Management adds a new level of complexity to any role, but I view it as being afforded an opportunity to help guide and empower another employee. It is one of the most exciting and challenging roles I have taken on, and I have Simmons to thank for helping me succeed!