Patricia Cotter is a strong proponent of women in STEM, and started her career as an engineer at Honeywell, moving up through the ranks into management. While at IBM she went back to school and earned her doctorate in work-based learning at the University of Pennsylvania.
Her dissertation was on the development of higher education business analytics programs designed to meet growing industry demands and close the twenty-first century skills gap. Through this experience she was able to combine her own experiences with research on the skills needed for successful employment in the growing “big data” field.
After finishing her doctorate, Cotter landed her dream job at MIT, seeking to merge her business skills and experience with a higher-education focus. She is now an Entrepreneur-in-Residence and lecturer at MIT, and the Director of the university’s student accelerator – the MIT Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA). Over this past summer, Cotter helped mentor 12 teams of student start-ups through an entrepreneurship “boot camp” and on to launching into the real world.