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Darcy Whitlock '99, M.S. '01 Never Wanted to Be a Doctor

Darcy Whitlock ‘99, MS ‘01

“I’ve always said that I didn’t want to spend my day looking in other people’s orifices,” says Darcy. “I knew from the get-go that I wasn’t interested in pre-med.”

Yet, with a B.S. and M.S. in biology, Darcy has been surprised to find that she has so many other interesting options.

“I have an innate confidence from my William and Mary education that serves me well,” says Darcy. “I was so well trained in critical thinking, stress management, and the ability to synthesize information that I’ve been able to handle most anything thrown at me without a problem.”

The Road Less Traveled

While at William & Mary, Darcy had her eye on a career in research and the potential to help a lot of people. “Doctors help one person at a time,” says Darcy. “But if I was able to develop a new drug or treatment, I would have the opportunity to help many. I always knew I wanted to do research—which is ironic, since that’s not what I’m doing now.”

After graduation, Darcy worked at a fertility clinic for a year testing embryos before implantation. But the long, irregular hours made it difficult to maintain a normal life.

Then she moved to Blacksburg, Virginia, and accepted a position with TechLab, a medical diagnostic company, where she helped develop different tests for diagnosing intestinal diseases. During her seven years with TechLab, Darcy’s role continued to grow. Soon she was making a lot of presentations, and she discovered that she is highly skilled at explaining complex medical principles and ideas in laymen’s terms. Whitlock presenting to her colleagues

“I really like sharing knowledge. I enjoy that moment when I’m explaining something and see the spark of understanding,” says Darcy. “Ultimately, I am helping people do their jobs better by helping them understand how and why our products work.”

Recently, Darcy started a new position as Product Manager for TechLab’s parent company, Alere. Now she works with the sales force, customers, and others to offer support, guidance, and expert instruction on the company’s entire product line. 

“I know and understand the science behind what I am talking about, and that makes a huge difference,” says Darcy. “I’m not just repeating what others have told me. With my biology education, I can answer questions and advance the way things are done."

Destined to Succeed at W&M

On her second day of freshman year, Darcy met her future husband at a social mixer. Months later, as the pair passed a walking tour describing the legend of Crim Dell, Darcy and her husband-to-be ran onto the bridge and kissed before a cheering crowd. The rest is history . . .

Although Darcy is quick to note meeting her husband as the very best thing she took away from the College, she is also keenly aware of how valuable her W&M education has been.

“It’s amazing and gratifying to look back on my years at William and Mary and see how much they’ve benefited me,” says Darcy. “I didn’t appreciate the quality of the education I was getting until I was out in the work force, up against other candidates, and I saw how prepared I was.”

Darcy believes that anyone with a W&M degree will find themselves head and shoulders above others in their job. And she feels certain that her biology degrees have made her very employable.