Thursday, May 23, 2013

Two Years in Transition: From Sales to Healthcare Management

Kevin Trexler, MBA '14
Prior to entering graduate school at UGA I spent just over ten years in sales working in industries from luxury real estate to medical device.  My career afforded me the opportunity to travel all over the U.S. and abroad.  Despite making it into the management ranks of a small medical device manufacturer, I’d reached a point of becoming pigeon-holed as a sales guy.  After ten successful years in sales I decided it was time for a change.  With the encouragement of my wife, I took the plunge and enrolled in the Full-Time MBA program at Terry.

The transition from the workforce to a fulltime student certainly caused trepidation, but my interaction with Terry students, faculty, and staff sold the salesman.  During these conversations two key features of the program stood out.  First, the flexibility of the program would allow me to customize my concentration and track.  Secondly, the expansive alumni base would offer the opportunity to expand my professional network.

I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but with my experience in medical device sales, I was interested in delving deeper into the ever-changing business of healthcare.  To do so, I had to expand my functional business knowledge beyond sales and marketing.  This is where the flexibility of the Terry program came into play.  I was encouraged to explore courses at UGA’s College of Public Health.  Taking classes in healthcare policy and consulting has allowed me to customize a concentration in both operations and healthcare management.

Outside of coursework, I joined the MBA healthcare club, and the Career Management Center introduced me to numerous alumni in the healthcare profession.  Through these avenues I was able to meet hospital administrators and consultants with whom I conducted informational interviews that helped narrow my career path and develop my course of study.  

In addition to networking, the Career Management Center coordinated a group trip to Nashville in November 2012 to visit key businesses in the healthcare industry.  During one of the business visits I was able to make a key contact that has become a mentor.  While in Nashville, I also attended the 2012 Vanderbilt Healthcare Conference which focused on post-election healthcare in the U.S.

Given these opportunities to focus my efforts in healthcare along with an on-campus recruiting event, I was fortunate enough to secure an internship in business process improvement with Premier Inc. in Charlotte, NC.  Premier is the nation’s leading alliance of non-profit hospitals, health systems and other providers dedicated to improving healthcare performance.  Premier uses the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective healthcare.

From the ability to customize my concentration to include health policy and operations management to expanding my professional network exponentially, I couldn’t have imagined a better experience.  As the first year draws to a close, I look forward to many more opportunities as I complete an internship and progress through the second year.

1 comment:

GC Malta said...

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