A True Career Fit
“Listen to your gut. I have had a lot of conversations about the pros and cons of a decision, and it always comes back to, ‘What is your gut telling you?’… That’s the direction you need to follow.” – Mandy Wilcox
Mandy Wilcox has always loved science. “When I was a child, I wanted to be a vet,” she says. “That was all I ever talked about.” That aspiration evolved into a broader focus on the sciences and STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics. It eventually would lead her to the right place at the right time: working as contracts and trade compliance manager at BRIDG, a state-of-the-art microelectronics fabrication facility in Kissimmee.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Central Florida, Wilcox found another passion. She began working in the UCF Office of Research & Commercialization — the role that led to her recruitment at BRIDG.
“I found I really enjoy the mix of science, innovation and compliance,” she says. “Sometimes you don’t know what the right fit truly is until you fall into it like I did.”
Falling into it isn’t without its share of effort, however. Each day at the ever-expanding innovation center offers a new set of challenges and triumphs.
“I arrive at the office with an open mind, knowing that my to-do list may get checked off seamlessly or nothing may get checked off at all due to more pressing priorities,” Wilcox says. “Staying inspired and light on my feet has allowed me the ability to be flexible and ready for change at a moment’s notice. Plus, not a day goes by that I don’t interact with many of the brilliant minds we have working on the team, and that is worth its weight in gold.”
She credits those brilliant minds, the guidance of mentors, and her own intuition for her ability to balance adaptability, stability and innovation in each day in her role. Whether implementing compliance in new areas or managing the day-to-day of existing contracts, “perseverance, patience, and a strong work ethic are the most important things to possess working at a startup,” she says. “Nothing is out of reach.”