As he was starting college, Michael McCormack ’20 knew he wanted to work in health care, but he wasn’t sure which specific career path to pursue.
“I wanted a career where I would be improving the lives of others every time I showed up at work,” he says.
A self-described problem solver who likes hands-on lab work, McCormack had a strong interest in how diseases occur. He ended up choosing the Applied Biomedical Sciences, Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) program in the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences. It was a perfect fit.
“The MLS curriculum gives you the tools you need to consider multiple factors contributing to diseases when interpreting laboratory data,” he says.
Before he graduated in May 2020, he was hired as a medical laboratory scientist by the Cambridge Health Alliance Everett Hospital. McCormack passed the certification exam on his first try.
“I love doing a job that is hands on and active,” he says. “I’m doing activities such as pipetting, culturing bacteria, microscope work, running biochemical tests and working on complex machines.”
During his years at UMass Lowell, McCormack says the labs, courses, clinical rotations and faculty helped him become a better medical laboratory scientist.
“I loved that I was able to learn from professors who had years of health care experience and were always available to meet with me to make sure that I understood difficult concepts,” he says. “The professors and curriculum taught me to be a resilient, resourceful and confident person.”
During his clinical rotations at MelroseWakefield Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance and Boston Medical Center, McCormack says he discovered that he liked working at small community hospitals.
“I get to rotate and work in multiple departments such as chemistry, hematology, coagulation, urinalysis and blood bank,” he says. “I’m grateful to have gotten hired right away, especially during a pandemic.”