Profile: Trancoso ’99 Finds Formula for Success

trancosoOn the fast track at pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Renaldo Trancoso ’99 evaluates and supports a group of key projects to help build business.

“I teach project management, and I check on new managers as they execute plans,” says Trancoso, a portfolio manager. “My role is to help them succeed. To do that, I need to understand the impact of each project, such as improving the capacity of a quality control laboratory so we can increase the production level of a certain vaccine.”

Balancing the job’s demands requires a mix of technical, business, and interpersonal skills. Trancoso gives much of the credit to Lafayette for providing them. “I was recruited to play soccer, but I soon learned how athletics can open doors to other opportunities,” says Trancoso, team co-captain and recipient of the Class of 1913 Trophy as well as winner of the Pepper Prize.

A mechanical engineering graduate, he says his degree “has been extremely beneficial because of the liberal arts education that came with it. The well-rounded curriculum helped set me up for success.”

Trancoso was recruited to Merck by Barry Starkman ’78, then an executive. He rose in the ranks and also earned an M.B.A. from Purdue.

A believer in divine guidance, he calls his faith “foundational.” He cites two people who came into his life to direct him along the right path: his mother, who uprooted them from their native Trinidad so he could get a college education in the U.S., and a soccer coach in Brooklyn, who passed his name along to Lafayette.

“I planned to go to a community college, but the coach had a bigger vision for me. That was a pivotal point in my life. When I talk to young students, I realize it may be pivotal for them. I feel truly blessed by the story I have to tell.”

—Robert S. Benchley

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