Alumna’s passion for IT leads to career at AstraZeneca

Penn State alumna Devin Mader is working with business intelligence software that will better interpret real-time data as an IT associate at AstraZeneca.
Devin Mader, 2018 Penn State alumna.

Devin Mader at AstraZeneca's Macclesfield campus, located in the United Kingdom. 

Credit: courtesy of Devin Mader

While earning her bachelor's degree in information sciences and technology from the Brandywine campus, Penn State graduate Devin Mader quickly discovered her passion for the industry and as a student wasted no time actively pursuing career opportunities in the field. Mader’s early job hunt paid off.

Before graduating in May 2018, she landed a position at AstraZeneca, a science-led biopharmaceutical business that delivers life-changing medicines used by millions of patients, according to its website.

Currently, Mader is an information technology (IT) associate in the global company’s Leadership Development Program and credits the academic curriculum and career resources at Penn State Brandywine for helping get her there—as her job offer came after she completed an internship with the company as a Brandywine student.

As an employee in AstraZeneca’s Leadership Development Program, Mader will complete three eight-month job rotations and a one-year consolidation role with the company throughout a three-year period to build key leadership skills and accelerate her career development.

“They give you so many opportunities to learn here,” she said. “At the end of last year we went to the UK for a week to meet with senior leadership. There were more than 30 other new AstraZeneca employees from 11 different countries there. Getting to know them was a really great experience.”

As one of only a few women in the IT program, Professor D'Imperio was really influential. She was always so supportive of women in the IT industry and was a great role model.”

— Devin Mader, 2018 Penn State alumna

Now in her first rotation, Mader explained that she works with people from around the world on a business intelligence application software system that provides AstraZeneca sales representatives with real-time visuals of data. She also assists her team with the creation and maintenance of an online central information hub for all departmental data. Aside from her regular job responsibilities, Mader is also currently earning a certification in agile methodology as a SAFe Lean/Agile Scrum Master through the company.

“I’m not sure where my next rotation will take me within the company, but I’m excited to see what the future holds,” she said. “One of my favorite features of this program is that it will give me the opportunity to discover new things.”

As a student, Mader worked full time and said that Brandywine’s location and course offerings made it “the perfect fit.” In addition to small class sizes, one of her favorite aspects of the campus was its faculty, especially Lecturer in Information Sciences and Technology Nannette D'Imperio.

“As one of only a few women in the IT program, Professor D'Imperio was really influential,” Mader said. “She was always so supportive of women in the IT industry and was a great role model.”

"Brandywine STEM faculty are committed to mentoring and assisting our female students as they pursue and navigate male-dominated majors and careers," D'Imperio said. "I always admired Devin's dedication, drive and resilience in light of her extremely full schedule. I am so proud of all that she has accomplished so far and I am sure that she will always be highly successful as she pursues her career goals."