PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Jackie Flanagan

“I truly believe that PhDs are our top-notch problem solvers, and so whatever career makes sense for someone, you have those skills to bring with you, and it’s pretty darn awesome.”

School of Medicine

Biophysics & Biophysical Chemistry, PhD 2015

Partner at Bain & Company

Jackie‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss what drew Jackie to the Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology doctoral program at Johns Hopkins, how taking a step back and assessing her personal and professional values and priorities helped her navigate the decision to pivot out of academia and into consulting, and her take on the ways a PhD prepares you to be a successful consultant as well as the major differences between consulting and academia.

Learn More About Jackie‘s Story

Life Lately

The joy resonating from this current family picture— myself, my then-1 year old son Tommy (now 18-month year old), and my husband Pat (an incredibly supportive partner!)—encapsulates the joy and gratitude I feel right now. While life is never this picture perfect (and usually much more messy with an energetic toddler!)—it is very joyful, and will in ~1 month include one more bundle of joy (Tommy’s sister is set to arrive). My current career provides a tremendous platform to be both a business leader and a very present mom—and I know ‘doing both’ of those things is what makes me ‘thrive’ in life. In a given week, I can travel for a day to visit a client in another city helping them solve critical questions in life sciences—and then on any day I’m home, be very present for breakfast, dinner, bath and bedtime, and playgroup activities. Life is full, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My Anchor

Although this is a relatively more recent family photo (~8 years ago), it’s one of many family photos from growing up that reminds me of the most important anchor that has guided my life, career, and what matters most. My parents encouraged me throughout my life to fully immerse myself in school—and find what interested me most. That led me to chemistry, research, and my eventual PhD experience at Hopkins. The example my parents set on prioritizing both family and career throughout their own journeys was a key guiding force in considering paths outside of academia—those that might find the ‘right’ balance for me and set-up the family life I aspired to set-up. Throughout my journey, being able to be very present with my family (holidays, birthdays, no too-long span without spending quality time with them) has been an anchor in my career choices.