Tucker Davison will graduate from Great Bay Community College in December with an associate in science degree in biotechnology, but he’s not waiting around to start his career.
Davison, who lives in Rochester, works full time at the biopharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc., in Andover, Mass. His current work involves manufacturing clinical drugs for cancer patients. After he finishes his degree, he will be better qualified for a promotion at the state-of-the-art, 70-acre facility that plays a key role in the drug manufacturer’s research and development and global supply network.
“It’s extremely gratifying work,” said Davison, 27. “These are medicines that people need to better themselves and live happier, healthier lives.”
Before finding his academic home at Great Bay, Davison had been in and out of college since graduating from high school nearly a decade ago, taking classes at a community college in Maine and a four-year institution in New Hampshire. He arrived at Great Bay intent on studying computer science but moved to biotechnology a year-and-a-half ago – at about the same time he began working at Pfizer.
“I got myself up to speed, and now I have only two classes left,” said Davison. “Best decision I have ever made.”
The biotechnology field has revolutionized how doctors diagnose and treat disease and lengthened life spans. Great Bay’s nationally recognized program prepares students with the skills and knowledge they need to enter the biotechnology industry or continue their studies at a four-year university. Great Bay also offers a certificate for students who want to enter the Biotechnology industry without committing to the associate degree.
Prior to coming to Great Bay, Davison worked in a variety of fields, all involving technical, mechanical, and hands-on skills. As a hobbyist, he enjoyed working on cars. Biotechnology was an unexpected turn.
“I didn’t think I was smart enough for science or STEM categories,” he said.
But he proved that he was. Davison has thrived at Great Bay, benefitting from small class sizes, a career-focused curriculum, and the willingness of professors to provide individual attention. “I have had a great experience at Great Bay,” he said.
After Pfizer hired him and he began working in a field with a promising future that rewarded his technical skills and his smarts, he realized the value of finishing the degree. Pfizer encouraged his education by offering tuition reimbursement – and the promise of a promotion. “You can go so much farther once you have a degree and learn the science behind it,” Davison said. “Once you get the degree, more doors will open.”