In 2019, Lauren Misiaszek ’22 M’23 posted a picture with her roommate that changed her life.
Endicott was hosting a photo activism event called “Dear World” where students could write personal truths on their bodies and have photos taken to show the world their story. Misiaszek participated, knowing exactly what story she wanted to tell. “Me and my roommate both have type 1 diabetes, and we wore our insulin pumps on our arm and said something like, ‘diabetes doesn’t define us.’”
After posting the photo, the Londonderry, N.H., native got a surprising email from Insulet, a local medical device company specializing in insulin pumps. They wanted to use the picture but also hoped to bring Misiaszek into their finance department as an intern. The offer cemented Misiaszek’s career path.
Misiaszek was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was just two years old and knew she always wanted to help people who struggled with the same problems, so she decided to pursue nursing at Endicott. But she quickly found that nursing didn’t allow her to focus on diabetes like she wanted to, so she changed her major to business, hoping to work on medical devices like insulin pumps. Eventually, Misiaszek decided to double major in business marketing and finance and will graduate this May with her MBA.
Working on Insulet’s finance team, Misiaszek found new ways to organize data and numbers. Not only did she get to put the finance portion of her degree to good use, but she also had the knowledge that her work contributed to the company’s production of the Omnipod, the type of insulin pump that she herself uses. She even spoke about her diabetes story on a panel for the MassMEDIC Gala on behalf of Insulet.
“I loved working for a company that I was so passionate about,” she said. “I know what the people on the other end are going through and the challenges they’re facing, so being able to work for a company and know that makes a lot of a difference. Not many people can say they have such personal connections with the company they work for and I genuinely say that I can.”
Diabetes may not define Misiaszek, but it’s a job in and of itself to manage it, ranging from what she can eat to how much she can move. But diabetes has also taught her to be responsible and passionate about life—and softball.
Misiaszek has played the sport since before she can even remember and was always alongside her father, who coached her throughout her life. At Endicott, she joined the softball team immediately, despite fears that diabetes would get in the way.
“My own self, beforehand, would be like, ‘Aw, they’re going to think I’m faking it, trying to get out of something I don’t want to do.’ But I’ve realized that people just don’t care that I’m sitting out. It’s just another thing,” she said.
Misiaszek has helped make the softball team the powerhouse it is. Since 2019, the team has clinched three Commonwealth Coast Conference titles in a row and has made it as far as the regional finals.
But softball also played a significant role in Misiaszek’s decision to return to Endicott for an MBA. She had a successful senior year in 2022 but when the team lost against Salisbury in the NCAA regional championship, she couldn’t shake the feeling of unfinished business. So, she decided to play a fifth year with the hopes of entering the College World Series.
“If I put my mind to something and am passionate about something, I’m not going to stop until I get it,” she said.
But with graduation imminent, it’s time to get a job, too.
“As an insulin pump user and as someone with so much experience with the product, I could be more customer-facing and helping in that way,” said Misiaszek, who seeking a role with Insulet or Dexcom in San Diego that allows her to be more of an advocate for people with diabetes.
But wherever she goes, she’ll miss the Nest.
“For me, Endicott is more than just a college. It’s a place where I formed lifelong friendships with professors, friends, coaches, and teammates alike. It’s a place I found my occupational passion in a major that really matters to me. And it’s a place where I expressed my originality and left it all on the softball field,” she said. “I’m not defined by diabetes, and in fact, I’m liberated by it—because it led me to find my place at Endicott and beyond. I’m excited about the future and to look back at Endicott as the place where it all began.”