In celebration of International Women in Science Day, Momentum Labs is highlighting inspiring women in the field of STEM who have had a positive impact on the Alachua-Gainesville region.
Continuing to honor International Women in Science day, Momentum Labs spoke with Jill Kniebel as part of our interview series. Jill serves as the Senior Manager of Corporate Accounts and Business Strategy at Thermo Fisher Scientific in their Financial Services department.
What area of STEM initially sparked your interest?
While my background and experience are not traditionally viewed as STEM, I realized there was a way
for me to support innovative and emerging biotech companies by working collaboratively to develop
financial solutions enabling their growth through equipment acquisitions. Through my work, I have had
the opportunity to shift my focus from in-hospital and outpatient settings to biotech, where I now partner
with companies who are just starting their journey. My goal is to identify financial solutions that can be
tailored to their short and long terms goals. I am honored, and excited, to be working with customers at
the earliest stages of their development, knowing that the solutions I helped to provide will enable them
on their path to making significant discoveries that will positively impact the world we live in.
Who has been a mentor to you in this industry or Who is a female role model in this industry?
I am very fortunate to work alongside many strong and supportive women at Thermo Fisher Scientific
and within the equipment financing industry. From the early days when my career was just beginning
through to today, I have found all of my female colleagues at Thermo Fisher to be extremely supportive
of one another. When I first changed my focus towards supporting our biotech customers, one colleague
in particular took me under her wing and paved a path towards understanding and learning. I am so
thankful to her every day as we continue to support each other and learn and grow together. Within the
broader equipment financing industry, I connected very early on with a woman who introduced me to this
industry, which was new to me at the time. I joke with her that she taught me everything I know, but she
truly has…her patience, knowledge, and experience helped lay the foundation for what I have achieved
and where I am today some 15 years later.
What project or initiative have you been a part of that you feel made a positive impact?
I have a background in healthcare sales and product management but have always had a passion for
numbers, which is how I came to Thermo Fisher Scientific and, more specifically, our financial solutions
team. For many years I stayed within my comfort zone of supporting healthcare customers and, in 2020, I
was presented with the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and into the world of biotech. This
was an area that I wasn’t familiar with. This change allowed me put on my creative hat and develop
unique solutions for how I could best support customers within this industry. I am so proud of the major
focus Thermo Fisher Scientific has on this industry, and the fact that I am able to provide the financial
support needed to ensure our customers have the instruments and equipment they need without
jeopardizing their financial or technological future.
How have you been encouraged to overcome challenges in this industry?
It may seem cliché, but don’t be afraid to ask questions! If you are curious about how or why, someone
else likely has the same question! Also, always be open to stepping outside of your comfort zone as it
may lead you along a new path that you never considered, and perhaps you’ll discover a new passion and
purpose that you would not have otherwise found.
What is your best piece of advice for young women pursuing a career in STEM?
A career in STEM can be extremely impactful, so dive in! Ask yourself what you are passionate about,
focus your passion into a career in STEM as the opportunities within this field are endless. I never
thought providing financial solutions would be considered under the STEM umbrella and I could not have
been more wrong! The support I provide is critical to the scientific discoveries companies are making
each and every day, and I’m proud to be able to partner with our customers to provide the support they
need when they most critically need it.
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