Thankful for his Plymouth Roots

Mike Mayo, director of materials and procurement for Olympus Biotech in West Lebanon, attended Plymouth State at the start of his career and again decades later when he changed careers, and says that he is forever grateful for all that PSU has given him.

Mike Mayo '79, '10G and Nancy Mayo '79 on vacation in Washington last year

Mike Mayo '79, '10G and Nancy Mayo '79 on vacation in Washington last year

Mayo, who most recently earned an MBA in General Management with a Healthcare Management Certificate in December 2010, began his undergraduate career at PSU as a probationary student in the fall of 1975. At the end of his first academic year, he gained full, accepted-student status, moved into Grafton Hall, and later met his eventual wife (Nancy L. Cole ’79) in front of Prospect Hall. By taking summer and winter courses, he graduated on time with a B.S. in Business Administration in 1979.

Mayo joined the U.S. Army and successfully completed basic training at Ft Leonard Wood, Mo., and then attended Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Ga. For Mayo, his success in OSC “defined me as a professional, and to some extent as a person.”

He was duly commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on May 2, 1980 and flew back to New Hampshire to marry his wife—also a PSU graduate—the next day. He was stationed at Fort Ord in California until 1982. “At this point,” Mayo states, “we had enough of the army life, and couldn’t wait to get back to our beloved New Hampshire.” Mayo worked at Raytheon in Waltham, Mass., on the Patriot Missile program, the Hawk Missile Spares program, and the Cruise missile program. Shortly thereafter, he was recruited by Teradyne Connection Systems in Nashua. The company supplies equipment  designed to test electronics used in the consumer electronics, computing, telecommunications, and aerospace and defense industries.

“From 1984-2006, I enjoyed numerous opportunities in many capacities, where my Plymouth State business training was thoroughly and repeatedly tested,” Mayo notes. “I enjoyed operations and business management roles there for 22 rewarding years. I was one of those fortunate individuals who was in a job that I had actually gone to school for, and enjoyed thoroughly.”

Three children and a couple of decades later, Mayo says, “I sought a different path and pursued a role in life-sciences manufacturing. It was a tough corner to navigate at my ‘advanced’ career stage, working in a Biotech company in the Upper Valley amongst Ph.D.’s, biologists, scientists and the like. This career shift, in turn, inspired me to pursue an advanced degree.” Mayo felt an MBA would be “a nice capstone to my early training and years of business experience.” At that time, he enrolled in the MBA program at the University of New Hampshire.

“About half-way through (the MBA program at UNH), I became bored with the curriculum. I reconsidered (my options), and examined the offerings at PSU. Inspired again, I enrolled in the MBA Healthcare Management Certificate program. In contrast to how I first started at PSC, my GPA upon graduation was a 4.0 in an advanced degree program. Not a bad way to finish!”

In conclusion, Mayo notes:

The once 'little college on the hill,' which was my desperate salvation and the springboard for my early career, would also be the University 'of my choice' for completion of an advanced degree. Thirty two years later, I will be forever thankful for my roots in Plymouth, personally and professionally.


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