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A Second Chance Leads to Life Lessons

By Lauren Whetzel-Siburkis


“Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down...”

His first bout of college played out like the above lyrics of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song, but A.C. MARCHIONNE BI’95, MS, MBA, credits much of his career success to the life lessons and discipline he learned as an undergraduate student at University of the Sciences.

After a few unsuccessful and out-of-focus years at University of South Carolina, Marchionne’s parents gave him one last chance to redeem himself as a student. That meant he had to relocate to Philadelphia to live with family members and get his second chance at USciences.

quote“As it turns out, transferring to USciences was the best decision I could have made in my life,” said Marchionne, now president and board chairman of Greiner Bio-One North America. “This university taught me responsibility, discipline, research, and leadership skills that have undoubtedly translated into the workplace.”

He vividly recalled having to hustle to campus on exam days to make sure he arrived at the testing center by 7:30 a.m. to avoid getting locked out and receiving a zero. Although he was not particularly fond of this memory while he was a student, Marchionne said it is one example of how his education taught him responsibility and the importance of punctuality.

Marchionne also said the smaller class sizes and individualized attention that he received from his professors at USciences were two factors that helped him gain a strong biology education and acceptance into the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine. His initial career plan was to become a doctor, but those plans changed after he took a job as a technical support specialist with Sarstedt, Inc.—a company that develops, manufactures, and sells equipment and consumables in the field of medicine and science.

“I took that job to earn an income while I was waiting for my United States Medical Licensing Exam scores to come back, and I became absolutely enthralled with the business side of the science industry,” he said. “So I took my master’s degree in medicine, and chose to stay and grow with Sarstedt for more than 10 years.”

“Although I am not working as a healthcare provider, I can honestly say that I wake up every day knowing that I work for a company that strives to improve healthcare delivery through new drugs, vaccinations, or medical devices,” he said.

In fact, Marchionne said his USciences foundation has benefited him the most in his career.

“I am able to speak with customers on a molecular and scientific level so that I can fully understand their needs and concerns,” he said. “Not many sales and business people are able to do that.”

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