Doug Carlson '01

JOB TITLE: Vice president, corporate development
ORGANIZATION: Collegium Pharmaceutical, Inc.
LOCATION: Greater Boston area

What was your first position after college? During the winter of my senior year, I accepted a job with SG Cowen, a boutique investment bank. My role was as a financial analyst in its health care investment banking group in Boston. Prior to Trinity, I knew I wanted to work in the health care business field, but I didn’t necessarily want to major in economics or a science field. I loved to read and write, and I was attracted to American studies as it blended a number of different fields into one major. I took a course called “American Economic History.” which led me to the American studies major. Many of the investment firms I interviewed with expressed interest in my liberal arts education. 

Has a liberal arts education helped you in shaping your career? Yes, absolutely. My liberal arts education exposed me to a variety of courses and taught me how to communicate and write effectively. I was able to articulate the advantages of the American studies major during my initial job interviews in finance. Internships and athletics were critical to my success in finding great jobs after Trinity.

What aspects of your Trinity experience have been important to advancing your career or graduate school experience? I completed a handful of internships while at Trinity and also rowed each season for four years. Although many employers are focused on grades, being able to differentiate yourself with internships and athletics is key.

What advice would you give to Trinity students to prepare for a position in your field? If you’re an American studies major but see yourself in business after graduation, I would strongly suggest taking an accounting course at Trinity. Acquiring the fundamentals of business in addition to the American studies major was incredibly helpful for me. I also strongly recommend doing as many internships as possible.   

What is the biggest misconception about your field? I’ve worked in the pharmaceutical industry and finance field for the past 12 years. I did not take any advanced science or business courses while at Trinity, but I leveraged the liberal arts education for all aspects of my field.