Infinite Careers Alumni Profile: Guadalupe Hayes-Mota

Infinite Careers is a new collaboration between Career Services (CAPD) and the MIT Alumni Association to explore career paths and the non-linearity of career decision making. Read profiles of alumni with unique career paths, hear their stories and network at a series of talks.

Guadalupe Hayes-Mota

Education

  • MIT, SB Chemistry, 2008
  • Georgetown, Master of Public Policy, 2009
  • MIT, MS Engineering Systems, 2016
  • MIT Sloan School of Management, MBA, 2016

Biography

headshot of Guadalupe Hayes-Mota

Guadalupe Hayes-Mota is the Director of Global Supply Chain and Manufacturing at Ultragenyx Gene Therapy, leading the department for worldwide production and distribution of all the company’s gene therapy. Guadalupe has spent over a decade transforming healthcare organizations in biopharmaceutical, hospitals, and policy, holding leadership positions at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Biogen, Amgen, UCLA Health, and the RAND Corporation, and conducted scientific research at Robert Langer Lab at MIT.

Growing up in Mexico as a child with hemophilia, Guadalupe had limited access to the treatment he needed because of unreliable health & medicine supply. His conviction that no patient should be without the medical care and services they need to live a full life has been a driving force in his career. His number one priority is improving the lives of patients.

He sits on the board of directors of Save One Life and is the Chair and President of the MIT LBGT+ Alumni Association Board. In 2012, Guadalupe received the Healthcare Executive Leadership Award from Los Angeles Business Journal. Most recently, he was named one of 2019 “40 Under 40” by the Boston Business Journal for this impact in Massachusetts and the Global economy.

Guadalupe has spoken at renowned events and conferences, including at MIT, Harvard, RAND, Amgen, California Senate, and Massachusetts Senate featured in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Business Journal, and Boston Business Journal, and testified before Congress and the Senate of the United States of America. Guadalupe graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry, a Master of Science in Engineering and a Master of Business Administration. He also received a Master of Public Policy from the McCourt School at Georgetown University.

Guadalupe's Story

What influenced your choice of undergraduate major? How has it shaped your career choices and professional ability?

I chose to major in Chemistry because I enjoyed learning the subject and had a great interest in understanding laboratory practices since high school. Secondly, as a pre-med, the chemistry major satisfied my medical school application pre-requisites. Now that I work in biotech, I get to apply the learned chemistry concepts when directing the production of molecules and biologics we use to treat patients. Majoring in chemistry gave me the language to communicate with my suppliers and manufacturers. Furthermore, the problem-solving framework in science gave me the foundation in solving problems in policy, business, and engineering.

What influenced your choice of graduate programs? How have they shaped your career choices and professional ability?

I attended the Master in Public Policy program at Georgetown because of its location in DC and its focus on healthcare policy. The MPP gave me the essential skills to work at the RAND Corporation in analyzing the Affordable Care Act with congress and taxation policy with state governments. For the second time, I attended graduate school; I came back to MIT to the Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) for an MBA and an MS in Engineering Systems. MIT became a clear choice because of its reputation in operations and the technical skills it offered. The LGO program had a significant impact on my career by exposing me to global operations in large scales and demonstrating engineering and business symbiosis. It inspired me to pursue a career afterward in Biotech within operations and supply chain, where I now work.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently or more of while you were at MIT?

I wish I had created more relationships with professors. These relationships are vital in career development and advice. Professors offer perspectives you do not encounter otherwise and provide unique insights to challenges.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career?

Having a direct impact on improving patients’ lives has been the most rewarding aspect of my career. Whether I have worked in healthcare policy, healthcare administration or pharmaceutical/biotech, my work has enabled the creation of better policies for healthcare access, provided more services to patients, and delivered medicines to patients globally.

What is the biggest challenge you've encountered in your career? How have you managed or overcome it?

After my acceptance to UCSF medical school, I decided not to attend. Through my work, managing doctors, and leading healthcare systems, I discovered that my passion is in transforming and leading organizations, not in being a medical doctor. Even though challenging, stepping back, and reflecting on my career preferences made it easy to choose.

Making decisions, especially important-feeling career decisions, can be challenging. What strategies have you used to make career decisions?

My values ground my career decisions. When making career decisions, I evaluate the decision alignment with my values. And to make sure I keep honest, I seek my mentor’s advice and input of my alignment evaluation.

What professional development experiences or opportunities shaped your early career?

Attending professional conferences and presentations open my eyes to other people’s work and ideas.

What professional development activities do you find useful these days?

Working with a career coach has been hands down the best investment I have made in my career. It provides a space to reflect on my needs, vision, and application.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve received?

When deciding what to do in life, look deep into your values and see how those connect to your work. A career based on values is worth pursuing.

What career advice to you have for current MIT students, or those interested in entering your industry?

Talk to people in the industry to understand all the possible roles. Even within the industry, they are many roles, and getting a clear vision of them can help a person decide where to go next.

Do you have any tips for networking or job searching for current students and recent graduates?

Do not be afraid to send cold emails or introductions to a person you want to talk. Draft an email or an introduction that is personable, direct, and purposeful; this can open doors and conversations. You will be surprised how many people have responded to my requests; many are large companies' CEO’s.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun/relaxation/inspiration??

Body lifting keeps my stress levels down, and meditation allows me to clear my mind. I also enjoy traveling internationally with my husband.

Do you participate in any volunteer/community service activities? If so, how do you balance your professional and personal responsibilities?

Currently, I sit in the board of directors of two non-profits, Save One Life and GBIO. To balance the board positions with my job, I evaluate, prioritize, and establish boundaries with each organization about my contribution. Honest conversations about your time commitment with the organizations can take you a long way.