Liberal Arts Leads to Mayo Clinic

A liberal arts education and a law degree allowed Barbara Gamez Sims to land a job she never knew existed as a Wartburg College undergraduate. 

“You can do a lot of things with a solid education, especially with a liberal arts background,” Barbara said. “A lot of the experiences I had at Wartburg prepared me for success in law school. I didn’t take the usual path to law school, that’s for sure. Having a solid educational foundation can lead you in many directions.”

After Wartburg, Barbara headed to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and later Marquette University Law School. It took only a year and a half in private practice for Barbara to know she wasn’t suited for traditional law.“

With my legal and science background, I knew I could pursue a career that utilized my science and legal education in a unique fashion,” Barbara said.

She found the perfect mix with Mayo Clinic. Since 2005, Barbara, a technology licensing manager, has evaluated inventions and innovations developed by Mayo Clinic employees to determine if they can be patented or commercialized. 

“Without my biology background I would have a hard time understanding the inventions. I’m working with people who may have been working on a project for many years, but at least I have the foundation and can say, ‘I understand the science, but educate me about this particular aspect of the invention,’” Barbara said. “I am a firm believer that we make our own choices, but that we are led to where we are meant to be. I feel that way about Wartburg. Things have fallen into place, and I am fortunate for that.”

Barbara Vertical

Barbara Gamez Sims ’98