Dr. Marie O’Connor, M.B.A. ’17 Unites Healthcare and Entrepreneurship

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Dr. Marie O’Connor, M.B.A. ’17 had already founded her own business before she came to Mercy College two years ago. As the president of Nordic Edge, a cryotherapy and modern wellness center located in Eastchester, she boasts that she had no idea how to run a business before entering Mercy’s Master of Business Administration program. Now 33 years old, O’Connor is a member of the Alumni Advisory Council with seven locations and a deal to build 60 retail locations total — a feat she attributes in no small part to the business plan she began building at the College.

“Going from one location to seven locations in less than two years, that is all on Mercy College for giving me the tools and the resources I needed to open my eyes to the business world and what I can achieve with that I have,” said O’Connor on how Mercy led her business to the next level. “They had brought me a tremendous amount of resources — not only the things that they had taught me in the classroom, but the connections, the professors, the networking events, my classmates — everyone fed off of everyone.”

A doctor of nursing practice from Sacred Heart University with an additional master’s in nursing administration from Kaplan University, O’Connor grew up in Yonkers where she currently lives with her husband, Adrian O’Connor, and their four-year-old daughter Adrianna. After several years as a registered nurse with Stamford Hospital, a Nursing Supervisor for White Plains Hospital and Senior Care Consultant with Anthem Inc., O’Connor married her passion of entrepreneurship with her experience in nursing to create Nordic Edge: a modern wellness practice devoted to exploring new types of holistic treatments including cryotherapy, salt-based halotherapy, compression therapy and many particularly new therapies originating in Europe.

O’Connor was introduced to Mercy through Senior Director of Graduate Admissions Michael Zarrilli ’05, M.B.A. ’16. While returning to school at the same time as running a new business was a challenge, she enjoyed the ability to directly see her work and her schooling grow symbiotically. In 2017 after opening her second location in New Canaan, Connecticut, O’Connor was awarded the title “Most Promising Millennial” by Westfair Communications, a rewarding moment she said awakened her to being recognized in business.

“I felt like, when I was in corporate or in a hospital system, you get this red tape,” O’Connor said on doing what she loves as an entrepreneur. “‘I want to do this’ or ‘I want to develop that’ or ‘I want to do this.’ I’m constantly thinking of things that I can do, but because of rules and regulations and protocols you can’t do that, and that used to be extremely frustrating to me. So to be an entrepreneur means that you make your own destiny, and you either can take it to the top or you can stay where you are, and it’s completely up to you.”