Alumni Spotlight: Ben Clifford

Alumni Spotlight Ben Clifford

When Ben Clifford decided to change his career direction out of the retail technology sector, he turned to SMCC. Now he’s enjoying a new pathway in science that he could only have imagined a few years ago.

Ben was making a decent living working for T-Mobile and Best Buy, but as he approached 30 he decided he wanted something more. Drawn by its affordability and array of academic paths, he enrolled at SMCC in 2019 and settled into a new world of science and research.

He’s used his classroom learning, his fellowships and internships at top scientific labs in Maine, and the connections he’s made to move forward in his new career. While at SMCC, he conducted research at the MDI Biological Laboratory in Bar Harbor and with a team from the University of Maine at Farmington that resulted in a published paper.

With SMCC now behind him, he works at a Portsmouth, N.H., facility for Lonza, a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company. This fall, he also began taking classes at a four-year university toward a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with a concentration in data analytics.

Ben bought a 30-foot RV last year and made a 12,000-mile trip around the country. The experience was a life-changing one, and he now hopes to have the option in the future of conducting research while traveling on the road.

“Things have worked out since I found SMCC, and it’s cool being on the cutting edge of research. I definitely appreciated school, going back at the age I did. Your education is an investment in your future.”