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How Gen Z Can Get Into Medical Sales Right Out of College

Unsplash: Baim Hanif

Spring is in the air — and so is the sweet freedom of graduation. You’ve prepped and planned for those final courses. Once you wrap up a few projects and ace those finals, you’ll be well on your way to the ‘real world.’

Now is the time to start planning for your first ever career. Not just job — career. Of course, you want something that will pay off those student loans, but like your fellow Gen Zers, you also want to be a part of something you’re passionate about and that will make an impact on the world.

Medical sales encompasses all of these positive career attributes. But it’s also an intimidating field to enter, even if you’re confident in your business or science degree. The level of experience posted in job descriptions and the competitive nature of medical sales can leave you feeling unsure of how to get into medical sales right out of college.

It is possible.

You just need to take a tactical approach. Here’s how to get into medical sales as soon as that diploma hits your hands:

Know what makes you tick

You’ve spent the last four — or more — years studying for your bachelor’s degree. From extracurriculars to your favorite classes, it seems nearly impossible that you wouldn’t know exactly what you want to do after graduation.

Unfortunately, approximately one in three graduates end up being “mismatched” to the jobs they find after graduating college, according to research by Universities UK. This isn’t a result of younger employees not performing well in their positions. Much of it stems from the lack of job — and life — experience, which leaves them unsure of their passions in the workforce and where they’ll be most successful.

Determining where to jump into medical sales begins with a good self-assessment. The possibilities are endless in this field. Do you want to work for a manufacturer or a distributor? Will you excel in the pharmaceutical, medical device, or biotech field?

These are questions only you can answer. So, look at your college career with a critical eye. Dig into your extracurriculars, favorite courses, mentorships, and achievements to understand your strongest, most unique traits and identify what makes you happiest.

Connect the competitiveness you used in college sports to the extra-competitive nature of specific medical sales companies or markets to find your groove. Or channel your passion for discovering how technology and the body work together to make your way into medical device careers where you’d work directly in the OR.

Start making valuable connections now

Career connections can — and should — be made throughout your entire college career. Waiting until after graduation to find and create meaningful relationships in the medical sales world could result in missed opportunities.

Start reaching out to your current connections now. Sit down with professors, coaches, family members, and friends. Let them know your plans for the future and ask if they have connections in the medical sales field. It’s important to also ask your career counselor if they know any recruiters who you can speak with directly.

The good news is, as a Gen Zer, you already have a few positive stereotypes attached to your work style. For example, employers are hearing that you have a strong desire to make an impact on the workforce and are entrepreneurially driven. Turn those stereotypes into proven facts about yourself by doing the legwork and expressing your interest in the field.  

Consider a non-sales medical sales career

This seems a bit counterintuitive. But figuring out how to get into medical sales doesn’t always mean immediately finding yourself in a sales rep role.

Remember, your first job out of college will impact the entire journey of your career. If you’ve found where you want to be, have put your finest, most charming networking to the test, and still haven’t gotten a medical sales rep job — don’t give up on medical sales.

There’s nothing wrong with an interim job that isn’t your dream career. However, the purpose of that job should be focused on getting you that sales role. Find entry-level roles at medical sales companies or other sales roles that involve selling to medical professionals. The more intentional you are now about getting your foot in the medical sales door, the faster you’ll reach your medical sales career goals.

What are your hopes and plans for landing a medical sales career right out of college? We want to know!