Where many college graduates are put out into the world unsure of what direction they are going to take their careers, I was fortunate to already have a path in mind when I received my diploma from Shenandoah University. Throughout college I had worked as an intern for various healthcare organizations, and had already developed an interest in the field. I started out with an internship at ACS State Healthcare Georgia from 2006 into 2007. I was a call center medical specialist working in the prior authorization department. The following year I continued with ACS in a new role. Here I learned about the Medicaid program and supported a variety of administrative functions providing computer and customer management abilities.

Prior to graduating in 2010, I took an internship with Smith and Nephew in Virginia for two months during the winter. This program saw me learning how to manage inventories, interfacing with physicians, and learning the business in general. It was at this point that I realized I wanted to remain in the medical field following graduation. I was fortunate to be offered a position within Smith and Nephew following my intern position, which I accepted. I was entrusted with nine regional accounts which I was able to grow twofold over the course of a year thanks to improved customer service, direct contact with physicians and staff, and correct inventory management.

As my experience grew within the healthcare field, I found that I had a specific interest in selling and marketing medical devices. These devices come in various shapes and sizes, each with a different and specific purpose. What I found so interesting about this area of the market was that each device could make the job of the doctor and the hospital staff easier and more consistent on a day to day basis. In turn, the care that the patient receives is better and will hopefully lead to better health outcomes. While I will never be a doctor myself, having a small part in improving the care of patients is a very powerful feeling and something that gives more meaning to day to day work than just cashing a paycheck. It is my hope that I will be able to continue to work within the medical field and have this kind of impact on the healthcare providers all around Georgia and beyond.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you are likely familiar with all of the news regarding health care in recent years. The health care laws are changing dramatically in coming years and it is changing the way that health care providers do business. I am thankful that I have been in this business for many years already and understand how things are currently before they change. I think that experience is going to help me adapt because I already have a good grasp of the business model and how most physicians run their practices. As those same practices begin to adapt to the new laws, I will be able to work with them to make sure that everything stays on track in light of the new requirements. A lessor experienced sales and marketing professional might be confused coming into the business at this tumultuous time, so I am grateful for the experience I already have under my belt.

Stepping away from my career for a second, I also have been able to enjoy some volunteer experiences that are very important to me. One of the most memorable ways I have spent time volunteering is the work I did with Habitat for Humanity in the summer of 2012. Habitat for Humanity is a well-known organization that provides free or inexpensive housing to families in need. While working under the Georgia summer sun is no picnic, the sweat was all worth it seeing our hard work result in something that will last. I hope to again have the chance to work with this great group and give a little of my time to help make a big difference in someone’s life.

Getting back to my work in sales and marketing of healthcare products, I like to think that I can bring specific and useful skills to any employer. One of those skills is simply client retention. Every business understands the importance of keeping the valuable clients that are already on the books. Getting new clients is great, but it is only treading water if you are letting others slip out the back door. I make client retention a priority by focusing on personal relationships with the decision makers inside of a practice or hospital. When they feel like they can trust me for everything that they need, I feel like they will remain a customer long into the future.

Other areas that I take pride in are new product introduction and profitability. New product introduction is critical because the clients need to understand how new products work and what they have to offer that improves on previous products. If they aren’t properly introduced and explained, the products are unlikely to be adopted. I educate myself fully on the products so I can offer quality explanations that show off everything a given product can do. In terms of profitability, that one pretty much speaks for itself. Having a long client list is great, but it is only useful if there is profit at the end of it all. I make sure that everything I do keeps the bottom line in mind and that all sales and marketing efforts are in the best interest of the company as a whole.

I feel fortunate to have a field of work that I feel so passionate about. Not everyone is lucky enough to find work that keeps them engaged and excited day after day. I hope to continue to find new opportunities in the healthcare sales and marketing field and grow my career over time. With my education, determination, and early experiences, my hopes for the future are high.