John

Sales Representative, CardioVascular
Seattle, Washington, USA

I was in pharma sales for over 2 years, but was exhausted from boredom. I mainly read magazines in waiting rooms until my 2-minute chance to drop off a sample with a physician. I wanted more accountability and more interaction with people, so I talked with a recruiter and he knew Medtronic had openings in the CardioVascular business.

Since my experience in pharma didn't really count as medical sales experience, I started at Medtronic as an associate sales rep. Typically, it's a 2-year training program, but I was promoted in 9 months and offered a job out of Seattle, covering Washington and Alaska. I really enjoy Anchorage. You never know when you'll see a moose.

I love this job because I feel like I'm running my own business. I work with perfusionists and surgeons to get our arrested- and beating-heart products to them. For custom Arrested Heart packs, the customers may want a shorter tube or to add components, so I facilitate the request with our manufacturing employees in Tijuana, Mexico, to make it happen. I love the variety of working with customers, working with their purchasers to help them understand pricing and the value of what they're getting, and working with manufacturing. It's a challenge to figure out how best to communicate with all these different people, but that's what I'm good at – communication and relationships – so I feel like this is the perfect place for me.

Joined Medtronic: 2006

Grew up in: Greensboro, North Carolina

Education:
North Carolina Central University, bachelor's in English and Political Science
Middle Tennessee State University, master's in Communication

What I do for fun:
Since moving to Seattle, I've gotten into outdoor activities, like kayaking and walking. I even tried hunting and loved it. Skiing is next on the agenda. I couldn't do that when I lived down South.

How I give back:
My wife works at the National Wildlife Federation, so I do most of my volunteer work with them.

Something people don't know about me:
I was an aspiring country singer. It started as a joke imitating George Strait, but then I started listening to and appreciating musicians like Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks. I won several karaoke contests, then moved to Nashville and did the club circuit. My mom was smart and told me I better keep up with my education, just in case, so I got my master's at the same time.

What the experience taught me:
If you want to do something, you have to go for it. You don't know what you can truly do until you push yourself.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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