Mark Doughty came to MIT Sloan looking for a way to stitch together what he called “a scattered career.” Mark began college at West Point, was injured and discharged, and completed his undergraduate degree at UMASS. He then pursued professional cycling in Europe before returning to the states to rehab a house with his MIT-educated father in Maine; according to Mark, “I had fragmented experiences with no depth in any one area.” What he discovered at MIT Sloan was that his broad experiences gave him perspective on recurring patterns across industries.
Now the President of Thoughtforms Corporation, a high-end custom home and institutional builder, Mark attributes much of his career success and satisfaction to what he learned while at MIT Sloan: “Sloan has played such a HUGE role in my life path.”
After graduating from MIT Sloan, Mark took a position at Booz & Co., where he found his education to be the perfect foundation for his role as a consultant: “What I learned at MIT Sloan helped me see that most of the issues my clients had were not entirely unique, there were consistent patterns and the problems were fixable. I was able to bring perspectives on how other industries addressed these kinds of problems so we could solve them.” Moreover, Mark attributes his success helping his clients manage change to the focus MIT Sloan places on organizational process: “This was the most important theme I got from MIT Sloan. You can do as many analyses as you want, but if you can’t work within a corporate structure to promote change and move toward new practices, you won’t get anywhere.”
After seven years at Booz & Co., Mark moved to Thoughtforms Corporation and in three years he was promoted to President. Mark considers his MIT Sloan education integral not only to his success, but also to the success of the company more broadly. “The broad base I got at MIT Sloan helped me see how people, finance, strategy, marketing and technology fit together as a system. Without this systems view I think we would be much less successful in a very competitive market.”
Part of Mark’s strategy is to build on Thoughtforms’ expertise with sustainable building and design, a service their high-end customers have started to ask for. As a result, Mark has looked to MIT Sloan as a source of graduates who are experts about sustainability, system design, architecture, and team leadership. “Having gone through the MIT Sloan program, I know the program is top-notch, and I like the sustainability focus that is woven into the MBA curriculum. When I hire, I look for sustainability knowledge and background for my team.”
Outside of work, Mark also finds ways to focus on sustainable practices. This year for example, Thoughtforms sponsored the MIT Cycling Club and the Eastern Mass Bill Koch ski league. “These are life-long people-powered sports. When you are on a bike or skis you see things very differently than you do in a car. You interact with and connect to the environment in a more human way.” Mark is on the Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Audubon Broadmoor Sanctuary and is alumni liaison for Boston-Area sustainability alumni events, working with staff of the Sustainability Initiative to plan events, workshops, and other events for Boston-Area sustainability alumni.