By Caroline MacNeille '16
“It’s about creating a culture. Inquisitive, unafraid cultures are where great things get born. And they don’t happen by accident. You have to listen and you don’t punish people for speaking out.” Amy Schulman '82 P'11, a new venture partner for venture capital firm Polaris Partners, speaks with the Boston Globe about her leadership style and professional advice. After graduating from Wesleyan, Amy studied law at Yale and began her career as a litigation associate. Since then, Amy has served as a partner at DLA Piper, senior vice president and general counsel for Pfizer and she has taught at Harvard Law.
This Boston Globe article highlights "Seven things you should know" about Amy's professional inspiration and style:
Schulman’s appointment at Polaris Partners -- a leading venture firm moving its headquarters to Boston’s Seaport district from Waltham -- will be her first experience working with biotech startups after a career that took her from a Wall Street law firm to Big Pharma. But she’s not unfamiliar with building companies. She helped grow the practice at Piper & Marbury, a law firm that became the behemoth DLA Piper. Later, she ran the nutrition and the consumer health care businesses at Pfizer.
Schulman described her management style as highly collaborative, whether it’s overseeing a small team of researchers or running a staff of hundreds of lawyers.
“It’s about creating a culture. Inquisitive, unafraid cultures are where great things get born. And they don’t happen by accident. You have to listen and you don’t punish people for speaking out.”
Schulman’s mother, who went to law school at the age of 45, was one of her role models. And throughout her career, mentoring other women has been important to her. While there are relatively few women in the top ranks of venture capital, Schulman is quick to note that woman are well represented in the health care and science fields in the Boston area. Women make up a majority of the small workforce at Arsia.
“There’s a great network of women who have welcomed me and have flourished here long before my arrival on the scene.”
Image: by Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe
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