I am pursuing a BBA in marketing with a concentration in biomedicine and medical product design. This degree is through the College of Business at the University of Cincinnati, and the requirements are as follows: fulfilling general education requirements such as English composition, economics, sociology, psychology; completing your specific focus curriculum; completing your chosen integral curriculum; learning either a foreign language or studying an area studies focus on a specific region of the world; participating in optional co-op programs. Of course, I am very excited about participating in the co-op program, which was actually founded by a gentleman named Herman Schneider in 1906 at the University of Cincinnati.
2. How did you decide to go into the field you chose?
My academic curriculum is not typical, and I have had the pleasure of customizing my education to match my personal interests. This specified integral is not one that at this point can be chosen, but I was able to apply to have it developed. It was approved shortly after. I have always had a passion for health care and the medical field but never thought I would be able to get so involved once I made the decision to obtain a business degree. I realized that I would at least try to do what I enjoy rather than conforming to the standard degree. It actually just all fell into place for me, and I love every second of it!
3. What classes/activities/clubs did you participate in while in high school that helped prepare you for your major and for college in general?
During my early years of high school, I served as a candy striper at a local hospital. This gave me some insight into the medical field and was a great chance to help others. In school I was a member of student council, athletic teams, class council, and honor societies. I held executive positions in each. These organizations acted as a precursor for my involvement in college, which is even more important. It is important to start getting involved and to become keen to that behavior in high school, but it is never too late to start. Involvement at this level helps advance social skills and also develops skills such as time management, responsibility, communication, and mediation—all imperative to becoming a successful business person.
4. What activities and clubs do you participate in at college that help you achieve your goals and that have been valuable?
I am a member of the Carl H. Lindner Honors PLUS program that is offered to 25–30 freshman students in the business college. It is a very strong and elite program. You stay with your class over the course of your undergraduate career and take more in-depth and challenging courses on top of the normal BBA degree. It also involves a mandatory co-op and an international trip. The benefits of this program are amazing and have taken me to a level I had never imagined possible before. Full paid tuition, honors housing as a freshman, and smaller classes are a few of the perks. Being involved with other organizations has also helped me in various ways. Serving as the President of my fraternity, Sigma Chi, I have been able virtually to run a small business and have been exposed to a multitude of experiences. The networking associated with this group is amazing. Learning how to socialize and build personal responsibility is also very important to the success of your college career. Any organization that allows you to meet other students, faculty, and community members is necessary. A few other organizations I am involved in are Sigma Sigma Men’s Honorary, Men of METRO Honorary, Cincinnatus Honorary Society, Student Orientation Leader, Phi Rho Chi Men’s Honorary, President of Calhoun Hall, UC Public Relations Officer, Student Alumni Council, SparkPeople Campus, UC Tour Guide, Hall Opening Team, University Honors Association, Intramural Sports
5. Have you participated in an internship/cooperative education program?
I have participated in this experience and value it more than anyone could imagine. It is very exciting to be in the field at what seems to be such an early age. The outside experience, combined with an in-class quality education, is a juxtaposition that that will put you above any other student who has simply just gone to college. Knowing what real-world work is about helps you focus on learning what is important in the classroom, and employers definitely love having experienced workers. It also allows you to see if what you think you want to do is really all that you picture it to be. I actually changed my major after my first co-op from finance to marketing, which actually ended up working out better for my biomedicine concentration anyway.
6. Do you have a job that pertains to your major? Explain what it is you do and how it contributes to your studies.
Right now I’m in the job search process. I’m looking into opportunities at a large corporation where I’d be able to become involved with the development of health care products. I am also interviewing with a smaller local company that would give me the chance to work on a community health campaign.
Any experience you have in the field aides your studies because when you see what you learn in the classroom is applied, you become more motivated about learning the classroom information and retaining it for your own use. Sharing your experiences in the classroom, as well as learning from what others share, also is a profitable method of learning about outside experiences.
7. After college, what type of career do you expect to have?
I have learned that when I think I know exactly what I will be doing, I am usually far from what will happen. That doesn’t mean that I don’t set goals and have a proclaimed vision, but I am always open to what may happen in my future and am willing to take risks and accept change. On a general basis I can see myself working in a marketing position with medical products, pharmaceutical sales, or maybe some other field for a medium- to large-sized corporation. I have always had a distinct interest in the military and could possibly pursue a position in a faction of the U.S. military.
8. What type of compensation can a graduate in your field anticipate after college?
The average salary as a general marketing person dealing with medical products in the Cincinnati area is $54,000, according to a search done on www.salary.com.
9. What are the three most important pieces of advice you would give someone who is interested in the field?
I would urge anyone interested to:
- Find out why it is you want to do it and make sure you are seeking it for the right reasons
- Participate in the co-op program or an internship early on to make sure it is what you want to work with for your entire career
- Stay motivated and keep an open mind.
It is a demanding and quickly growing field that will challenge you in many ways. Use everything you learn to your advantage and you will be able to enjoy the rewarding benefits of helping others through this type of position.
10. What personality types work best in the field?
I cannot unequivocally state which personalities work best in this type of position, but I can tell you what I have found has been beneficial to me either directly or indirectly. Effective communication is essential. You must be able to quickly and efficiently communicate concepts and ideas. Sensing others’ feelings and thoughts is always helpful. Having a genuine desire to help people is a characteristic that aligns with this field. Team work, personal responsibility, time management, and reliability are all traits helpful and can easily be viewed by others in your work. Overall, you must be a well-rounded individual who can get a job done, all while enjoying yourself and meeting your personal goals.