So, the biggest question I get from everyone is, "what is it that you do for a living??" In honor of International Women's Day I wanted to talk a little bit about what I do as my full time job and discuss the medical device industry. I could get super detailed but for the sake of everyone's sanity I'm giving you the short version LOL.
I am currently a Coronary Sales Specialist with a company that provides products that focus on physiology, imaging, and atherectomy in the corornary arteries (heart vessels). I am leaving out any names of places, companies, etc. My job is to support, guide, inform, and teach both cardiologists and staff at various hospitals within my territory how to use our products to better treat their patients in the procedure room. My products help to gather more accurate readings on the pressure gradients in the arteries to help see if there isn't enough blood flow, help to see the nasty plaque in the arteries via our IVUS (vascular ultrasound), and also laser that nasty plaque by basically vaporizing it with ultraviolet light in order for the cardiologist to place a stent to increase blood flow! I KNOW..... ITS A MOUTHFULL. Although, it is a lot at times I do LOVE what I do.
My grandfather passed away from CAD (coronary artery disease). That was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. Did we know for sure it was from that? No. We did not order an autopsy for his unexpected heart attack. However, I do know that he did live life to the fullest. He smoked and was a little overweight... He was Papa and he loved food. I know based on my years experience in the cath lab that.. Yes, his death was more than likely from CAD. So, from that point on I really found myself fascinated with the entire industry of medical devices as a whole. The technology to save lives and keep people living is ever changing and evolving and I have to say that it is truly incredible...You couldn't imagine the products out there that are used on a daily basis to help keep patients living and get them back to their families!
How did I get into this space? That is a question I get often. I actually believe networking in college is THE BEST tool you will have in your toolbox upon graduation. You can study your A** off and not end up in the field you thought you would be in. Believe me. I studied Molecular Biology and minored in Chemistry. I was premed all the way, but then at the end of my years at Texas Lutheran University I decided that... I wasn't sure I wanted to enter into MORE school. I thought, "oh my gosh... I'm not done yet.. I'll still have 8-10 years left!" Basically, MY path was that I was not to proceed into more schooling. Something was telling me I was on a different avenue of life. A few months later I had a friend tell me about a job with Stryker, another medical device company, and that I would have to move to Houston. I had just gotten cheated on in my current relationship( I lived with this a**), so this was THE PERFECT time to take an opportunity away and in a field I was fascinated with. A win win! And thank the good LORD above that I took it.
I moved up quickly at Stryker. Took a job with Cordis when it was a Johnson & Johnson company (yes, the baby shampoo company has like 200 companies of all kinds within it), and then a job with Spectranetics. I am now with a different company, but one that is truly revolutionary in all the latest technological advances of today. I am VERY proud to work for them, the physicians, the staff, and most of all... the patients.
Does your background need to be in sales? NOPE. It is pretty tough getting in somewhere with no sales experience right out of the gate, but I will say it helps to network. GO to parties in college (not trying to be a bad influence with what may go on there), go to events, get involved in groups, campus meetings, etc. Just go meet people is what I'm saying! You never know who will be your boss one day and help you get a job! Also, Yes, my major helped me understand the health field better, but I still had no sales experience. You may need to take a job at the bottom of the food chain and work your way up to prove yourself like I did.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about the medical device industry? Sales is NOT easy. As much as I seem to have fun and run around all over the place it is so stressful. People are lying down on a table. My products are being used IN them. The doctors RELY on me a lot of the time to tell them HOW to use MY products... This stuff can scare the crap out of you, but at the end of the day when that patient is going home with a well placed stent and not going to go to open heart surgery.. its all worth the stress. If you are thinking about wanting to get into the sales field in devices and have experience, please email me or leave a comment! For those just starting out there are so many resources you can use today. I am on LinkedIn. I have recruiters email me every single day about job opportunities. Sign up today and follow companies you're interested in joining one day. Who knows!? You may end up working with me!
I hope you all enjoyed this post and please let me know what you think. If you have any other questions feel free to ask!