Many successful sales reps will tell you they didn’t always dream of being in a medical sales careers or that they even thought of it an option.
With college graduation fast-approaching, there’s plenty of skilled soon-to-be professionals that don’t yet realize medical sales is the right fit for them. You have students in biology and science-focused paths who are considering medical school. Others, with business degrees, are deciding where they can apply their passion for people and management, earn an impressive paycheck, and be passionate about the work they’re doing.
Rather than waiting for years for them to recognize the opportunity in medical sales, or worse, missing out on this talent altogether, it’s time for recruiters to reach out and help college students pave their way.
Here’s how you can help guide college juniors and seniors to a medical sales path that’s right for them:
1. Network with college career counselors
College students have countless online job search tools readily available on their smartphones and computers. Still, career counselors are the lifeline for many planning post-graduation moves. They’re not just there to help students find a career, but to help give them direction.
These are the people students share their career fears. Those who aren’t sure if taking the MCATs is for them or students who aren’t sure where their degree will take them rely on the calming advice of their college career counselors.
Networking with these professionals gives you both an advantage. You have someone in your corner discussing your company’s offerings with fresh talent. At the same time, they have a resource to further help their students find the best career path.
Network on LinkedIn, at job fairs, and other in-person events with college career counselors. Find out if they have one office of designated career services for specific majors. Then, explain what your company can offer entry-level candidates, such as your hands-on training and development programs and mentorship opportunities.
2. Ask sales reps with similar degrees to chat with students
It’s important to remember whom you’re trying to recruit. College students are new to the career world. They lack the experience and confidence to know exactly where they’ll excel.
Give them the chance to see first-hand that their degree and college experiences have helped others succeed in medical sales. Ask sales reps on your team to attend career fairs or meet in-person with student groups.
Encourage them to share their personal story. What was their major? What was their first job out of college? How did their college experience help them prepare for this type of job?
This allows students to see how someone with a similar major or extracurriculars is doing well in the medical sales field.
3. Maximize your company’s internship program
Internships are designed to give students hands-on work experience and the ability to ‘try out’ a role before ultimately committing. Unfortunately, many internship programs aren’t maximized to benefit the student’s future. Busy business professionals offer busy work and occasionally let them sit in on important meetings.
However, students aren’t truly challenged or asked for their input. This leaves them uncertain about a career in the field and offers little to no advantage to the company.
Advocate for the maximization of your internship programs. Ensure they’re being run with an intention and focus on a medical sales rep’s specific role duties and skills. Put interns to work in the office and out in the field.
Also, don’t forget to ask them for direct input on what they love and what they dislike about the service side of medical sales. Collecting their input allows you to see where they’ll excel, for example in an inside or outside sales role, and will help you further develop their experience.
Why do you think it’s important to help college students pave a path in medical sales?