Each week, JWMI profiles students and alumni in its new featured series “Winning Voices.” Learn about our diverse community and what sets our program apart from those who have experienced it. For more great “Winning Voices” content, click here.
Principal Sales Representative
Program/Concentration: Jack Welch MBA with Healthcare Concentration
TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES AT MEDTRONIC.
In my current role, I manage a 12-million-dollar territory for Medtronic, Plc. I work in a very intense environment. I spend the majority of my day in the operating room, assisting physicians in the implantation of heart-related devices. When I am not in the operating room, I manage my team members and collaborate with C-Suite executives to ensure that I provide value-based care to my hospital colleagues. In my position, it is imperative to provide value, as margins in hospitals are razor-thin. I want my hospital colleagues to know that I offer more than just an industry-leading product; I want them to know that I have a vested interest in their success. I share their common goal of “world-class” patient care.
WHY WERE YOU LOOKING TO GET AN MBA?:
I wanted to obtain my MBA for many reasons:
- I came from a nursing background, and I learned my business acumen on the job at Medtronic. I always knew there were gaps in my knowledge base, and obtaining my MBA would provide the education I was seeking in my employment.
- I hoped that my MBA would open me up to further opportunities within my company.
- I wanted to be able to speak the same language as my C-Suite executives.
In my business, it is more important to recognize the needs of my customers rather than my need to sell medical devices.
HOW HAS THE JWMI CURRICULUM HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER?
While I have not been promoted in my current role yet, I have opened up opportunities within Medtronic. I was asked to meet with senior leaders who have included me in decisions that have affected major contracts in my industry. Additionally, I was nominated for continuing education opportunities that will lead to promotions in the future.
DID YOU FIND THE CURRICULUM WAS IMMEDIATELY APPLICABLE? PLEASE EXPLAIN.:
The curriculum was perfect for my career. The course content was immediately applicable in a sales role. Our course work in marketing, finance, and healthcare administration helped immensely in my position. The curriculum gave me a deeper understanding of the “how and why” we do things a certain way in the business world. The finance piece also allowed me to participate in discussions with hospital executives to better understand my customers’ needs.
LOOKING BACK AT WHAT YOU THOUGHT ABOUT AN ONLINE PROGRAM WHEN YOU FIRST EMBARKED, WHAT WAS YOUR OVERALL IMPRESSION NOW? DID IT MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS VIA DQ BOARDS, EOP VIDEOS, FACULTY ETC?:
From the very beginning, JWMI made the expectations of its students very clear. The workload was consistent throughout the entire curriculum. There were variations in course load and content amongst the various courses, but the expectations were consistent. Each class offered a variety of educational materials that supplemented the required reading. The Experts of Practice (EOP) videos provided real-world perspectives from some of the most successful business leaders in the industry. It was always nice to have Jack’s perspective as part of the coursework. The discussion question (DQ) boards allowed for a collegial relationship amongst my class colleagues. It was great to have such wide variations in perspectives from the student body.
HOW DID YOU NAVIGATE JOB, FAMILY, AND WORK? WHAT STRATEGIES DID YOU IMPLEMENT TO GET IT DONE?:
It was beneficial to know what was expected from JWMI consistently across the entire program. The assignments and course study guide allowed me to plan in advance when I had deadlines at work and planned vacations with my family. My family understood that I had assignments due on certain days of the week and agreed to support me as I strived to achieve my academic goals. I am a stickler for turning assignments in on time, and they were extremely supportive throughout the program. My career also allowed me to utilize downtime between operating room cases to get my reading assignments done. In hindsight, it seemed like an impossible task to get it all done and still work and care for my family, but before I knew it, I was in my final course.
WAS THERE A PARTICULAR PROFESSOR OR MEMBER OF THE STAFF THAT YOU FELT HELPED YOU TO EXCEL? PLEASE ELABORATE.:
It is difficult to say that one particular professor helped me excel in my MBA program. Each professor was so helpful and caring in their own way. Professor Bateh was extremely helpful in getting us motivated to cross the finish line and “finish strong.” He really motivated me to put everything I had into the final project and made the curriculum fun.
WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST REWARDING EXPERIENCE IN THE PROGRAM?:
I think the most rewarding experience was the Healthcare Capstone course. The final coursework really pulled together the entire program. It was great to share this work with so many great students. Since graduation, five of us continually talk to each other via LinkedIn and other social media outlets. We have continued our love for learning even after the final grades were posted. It was easy to see from the beginning which classmates were going to be colleagues for life. I hope that I get to meet them in person one day and thank them personally for being such a big part of my education.
PLEASE SHARE ANY ADVICE FOR NEW STUDENTS EMBARKING ON THE MBA JOURNEY.:
My advice to new students would be to make lasting relationships with your fellow JWMI classmates. Don’t be afraid to use writing coaches. I thought it was very worthwhile to pay for the premium version of Grammarly. My biggest concern was writing papers after being out of school for such a long time; however, it was a much easier task than I had initially thought with all the resources at our fingertips. By the second class, I enjoyed writing papers and felt much more confident with my assignments. My last piece of advice is to manage your time well. Make a plan to finish your assignments and stick to the plan! The program can get intense at times, but all of the work is manageable, and the resources are abundant. Don’t wait… jump in with two feet and achieve your goals!!
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