Kristen Margeson ’07 Shares How Simmons Education Led to Dream Job at Atlas Venture
Tell me about the work that you do.
I am VP of investor relations and marketing at Atlas Venture, a venture capital firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We create and invest in new biotech companies. We’re focused on finding new, groundbreaking science across many disease areas and therapeutic modalities, and figuring out how to potentially make that into a medicine and building a company that can do just that.
My role at Atlas is to work with the investors for the funds that we raise. We invest these funds into the companies that we create. I also work on our marketing efforts, including web, social media, events, and communication strategies. It’s a broad role and I really enjoy it.
How did you become interested in working in this area?
When I graduated from Simmons as a math and economics major, a math department alum was working in an investment advising firm. I met her at a career event that Simmons hosted. She ended up hiring me at the firm, which got me into the field. After that I worked for Cambridge Associates, which is a large investment advising and consulting firm. There I got involved in the venture capital research team, and I found it very interesting.
I became interested in the healthcare side of venture capital. I like the mission of building companies that can hopefully develop new medicine for people who need it. I became acquainted with Atlas Venture, and at a certain point they were looking to hire somebody with my skills.
How did Simmons prepare you to become a leader in your field?
I am happy that I went to Simmons, and would not trade that experience for anything. The professors at Simmons in both the Math and Economics Departments had a strong goal to educate their students about the career opportunities available to them. I remember in my more theoretical math classes having professors pause and say to us that what we are doing is applicable to certain careers. I always found Simmons to be a very career-focused institution, and my first job came out of a Simmons networking event.
Were there any particular Simmons faculty members who inspired you?
In economics, Professor Masato Aoki champions the annual networking dinner. He’s always been very career-minded. My advisor, Professor Niloufer Sohrabji, was so encouraging to me. In math, Professor Donna Beers would inform us about the various career paths for which our coursework could prepare us. In statistics, Professor Robert Goldman was especially wonderful. Professor David Browder spent a lot of time helping me outside of class.
Do you have any advice for current students wanting to pursue a similar path?
Tap into the Simmons alumnae/i network and ask for informational interviews. It’s a good idea to meet people who have a job that sounds interesting to you. These connections are not just one-time conversations, people will make themselves available to you when asked. For math and economics students, do not limit your career paths to just being an economist or a mathematician; you can leverage these skills in so many ways. You will find a path where you can utilize your skills and find a job that you really love.