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Alumni of the Month

July 2013
Margot Puerta (M.S. '02, M.B.A. '10)

Margot Puerta Q & A:

What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, and what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
My favorite class was Real Estate Finance and my favorite professor taught that class, Professor Robert Campbell. My fondest memory was when Professor Luke Ng taught a class on crutches and used a crutch to point to the whiteboard. That’s dedication!

What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
I received two degrees from Hofstra – an M.S. in biology (2002) and an M.B.A. in finance (2010). My first job after the biology M.S. was as a research associate in a neuroimmunology laboratory at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, North Shore-LIJ Health System. I focused on the molecular mechanisms underpinning sepsis and septic shock. One of the most valuable lessons I learned was that science does not occur in a vacuum. Communication is essential. You must write and present your work at scientific meetings and to the public or it’s as if your discovery never happened. I was already working as director of scientific affairs/laboratory operations at the Feinstein Institute when I pursued the M.B.A. I was responsible for working with cross-functional internal teams to oversee biomedical research planning and operations of more than 200,000 square feet of research space. One of the most valuable lessons I learned in this position was to know your audience and how to negotiate with them.

What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
Publishing. Currently, I am the managing editor of the biomedical research journal, Molecular Medicine.  I always loved reading and writing. That, combined with my training in biomedical research, led to the perfect combination for my current position.

What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Think about where you want to be in your career, then work backwards and plan how to get there.

In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
Felicitous.

How have your degrees helped you?
My Hofstra degrees have helped to broaden my skill set and have provided me with a business foundation that I plan to build upon as I advance in my career. 

What is your favorite part of your job?
The best part of my job is that I’m afforded tremendous opportunities to explore new communication technologies as the publication industry evolves.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Where do you see your career progressing to in the future?
In 10 years I’d like to be a director of publications, responsible not just for one publication, but for a suite of publications.

Margot Puerta

Margot Puerta (M.S. '02, M.B.A. '10) is the managing editor of Molecular Medicine, an international peer-reviewed biomedical publication focused on understanding disease pathogenesis at the molecular level. She plans, organizes and manages the staff and activities of the journal, and is responsible for strategically guiding the development of Molecular Medicine, including web and multimedia content. Margot also created and produces Mollie Medcast, a journal podcast available at iTunes.

Previously, Margot held the position of director of scientific affairs at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, the biomedical research arm of the North Shore-LIJ Health System in New York. In this role, she worked with cross-functional internal teams to oversee biomedical research planning and operations of more than 200,000 square feet of research space. She provided day-to-day management assistance to more than 20 laboratories and 400 employees. Prior to assuming these roles, Margot worked as the manager for the Laboratory of Biomedical Science at the Feinstein Institute co-authoring 14 neuroimmunology papers. She also served as guest editor for the Journal of Management Development 2011, Volume 30, Issue 1.

Margot holds a B.S. in biology from Fairfield University, an M.S. in biology from Hofstra University and an M.B.A. in finance from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University.