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Our Voices

Shawn Fitzpatrick, Associate Director of Manufacturing at Shire Pharmaceuticals, Just-A-Start Board Member, and Biomedical Careers Program Graduate

My hunger started, and eventually I got my first job, and then I haven’t really looked back.

Shawn Fitzpatrick wasn’t sure exactly what he wanted to do with his life after high school. He started working, but didn’t found anything that seemed right for him right away. When he was in his early 20s, Shawn’s mother gave him an ad for the Just-A-Start Biomedical Careers Program and it had a huge impact on the direction of his life. As Shawn says, once he got into the program “my hunger started, and eventually I got my first job, and then I haven’t really looked back.” While he was going through the program, Shawn worked full-time, which was a challenge, but he urges others to push themselves the way he did: “Go for it! Tackle that change! You are going to fall down, you will make mistakes, but it is what you learn from those mistakes and how well you get up and dust yourself off that makes you successful. By tackling that change myself, I couldn’t be any happier.” Shawn graduated from the Biomedical Careers program in 1997 and has now been working at Shire Pharmaceuticals for 17 years. In 2015, Shawn decided to join Just-A-Start’s Board of Directors, because of the positive impact that he sees the organization having on community members. Shawn thinks the Biomedical Careers Program represents something good for the community by giving people who don’t necessarily have the financial means to change their career track or find a career track an opportunity to learn a new skill and very quickly apply it to the workforce. Shawn’s sister also graduated from the Biomedical Careers Program in 2016!