Melanie Zembrzuski didn’t really need a new job, but as she found out, that is typically the best time to find one. Employed in healthcare sales with 1 company for 13 years, Zembrzuski was ready to move into a different segment. She knew she would need to join a reputable, niche job site in order to get what she calls real, viable offers.
After graduating college with a bachelor of science degree in Health Policies and Administration and a nursing degree, Zembrzuski went on to work as a cardiac and heart transplant nurse at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian Hospital for four years. She says it was there that she began interacting with medical device sales reps from KCI. Even though she had always had her sights on becoming a hospital administrator, she was intrigued by the thought of selling medical equipment after dealing with the providers and patients who used them. She began asking a lot of questions about the sales side of the business and soon found herself a bona fide medical device sales representative. She said the company was happy because they liked having someone on their team who had been on the inside of the hospital business.
Happy with her job at KCI, Zembrzuski stayed with the company for 13 years selling an array of products for different divisions, including critical care, bariatrics and wound care therapies. Following the selloff of the bed division and a broad restructuring that included the sales team, Zembrzuski decided it was time for a change.
In February of 2012, after dabbling a bit on LinkedIn and making a few connections, Zembrzuski was told to check out MedReps.com if she was really serious about landing a good healthcare sales job. She says she was referred to the site because it was so well known by friends in the industry as the best website for finding medical device, pharma and biotech sales jobs.
Within two or three weeks of posting her resume on MedReps.com, Zembrzuski says the phone calls started coming in from headhunters for large, reputable healthcare companies. She says she got so much traffic from just posting her resume that she knew she had to narrow down her search to geography and salary and take only leads that met certain needs.
The funny thing, Zembrzuski says, is that even though she wanted to move out of devices and into pharmaceuticals or bioscience, she was not sure about Hemophilia because she did not have any prior Hemophilia industry experience. So when she was contacted by recruiter Brad Bridges about a job opportunity with Baxter Bioscience – Hemophilia Division, she initially passed on the interview – primarily due to a current work commitment, but she was also unsure if she would even be considered with no prior Hemophilia experience. But after more thought and learning more about the position, she realized the job might be exactly what she was looking for. She pursued Bridges to get her an opportunity to interview at the next round of interviews.
Zembrzuski says the best thing about finding MedReps.com was that it put her in touch with Bridges, who took the time to walk her through the steps of the changing job market. Bridges agrees that working with Melanie was a great experience. Since Zembrzuski hadn’t been a candidate in more than 13 years, Bridges advised her on how to put her brag book together, reviewed possible interview questions and answers, and practiced interview questions back and forth – all of which became a crucial part of the interview process.
“I had a lot of fun working with Melanie and have a tremendous amount of respect for her,” says Bridges. “During our many conversations we became good friends. We worked like a team, although she did all the heavy lifting during the interviews and ultimately landed the outstanding position with Baxter BioScience, Hemophilia.”
After learning more about the Baxter job and with the preparation from Bridges, Zembrzuski felt comfortable about going through the lengthy interview process. Over the next several weeks, Zembrzuski went through interviews on many levels with a final series of interviews at corporate where she was ultimately offered the position. She is now officially the Bleeding Disorder Manager (Sales Executive) for the Hemophilia Division for Baxter Bioscience. She feels one of the many great aspects of going to this company was the amazing training program in place to prepare her make the transition into one of Baxter’s most specialized divisions.
Zembrzuski says what she learned from the experience is that healthcare companies want committed, enthusiastic candidates who have a good track record. Many of these organizations spend a lot of money and time training new employees, she explains, so they want to know they have hired the best people – people who are team players, fully understand the business and know how to get from point A to point Z.
Her advice to those looking for a medical sales representative job? She says that candidates should keep an open mind about different job possibilities, take the time to investigate the types of jobs that are out there, think outside the box and join a reputable job search site like MedReps.com. She insists that ever since she joined, her phone hasn’t stopped ringing from healthcare sales recruiters looking for people like her.