Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Veteran Spotlight: Brian Schulz

Brian Schulz was hired by Medtronic in March 2007 through Orion International and is still in this position over five years later. Prior to his civilian career, he graduated from the United States Naval Academy and was active duty for eight years, serving as a Naval Flight Officer.

"Being able to work with Orion and discuss a wide-range of jobs helped me narrow the my career search to a specific career field, which helped save time and make my job search more efficient. A recruiter from Orion called up one day and said, 'I had the perfect opportunity for you come across my desk this morning'…and that was it!" recalls Schulz.

He began his career with Medtronic as part of a development program where they hire four people every six months that have either little or no healthcare and/or sales experience. These new employees spend six months in-house and learn the corporate structure. They then spend six months traveling in the field to learn the sales aspect of the job. Schulz tells us that Medtronic heavily recruits people with prior military experience, because they recognize the valuable skill sets veterans have learned while on active duty.

Schulz has now worked in the healthcare industry as a spine consultant selling medical devices to neurosurgeons, orthopedic spine surgeons, and interventional radiologists since 2007. He consults with them during procedures and help provide them with the newest and best technology for treating their patients. When he began, both the healthcare industry and the medical device field were entirely new to him.

In addition to the yearlong training program offered by Medtronic, Schulz says he felt prepared for the job due to his military background. "The diversity of duties I was assigned while in the military helped me become very willing and able to learn and succeed at a new job, or set of responsibilities, very quickly," explains Schulz, "Another important quality I took away from my military experiences was teamwork, the ability to stay focused on the team’s goals and overall mission above my own individual goals.

The leadership positions Schulz had in the military have proved to be invaluable in his civilian career. The flexibility, adaptability, and the ability to manage multiple priorities that he learned while on active duty have all been extremely useful in his position. When asked about any obstacles he has faced, Schulz explains that he did have to adjust his communication method slightly and focus on how to become a more effective communicator, especially in times when people might not have any interest. "The challenge is how to draw them in and get them interested," he states.

In addition to being voted the “most valuable person” on his first district sales team, he received a “40 under 40 Award” given by the Billings Gazette and the Roche Jaune Award by the Billings Chamber of Commerce for Salesperson Excellence. "My first award was especially rewarding, because it helped me recognize that while I had the least sales experience on the team, I was still able to be seen as an asset by my teammates," says Schulz, "I discovered that the leadership, teamwork, and mission focus I learned in the military was directly transferable to my civilian job."

Click here to read more about Schulz' transition and success.

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