Part of what college is supposed to do is prepare you for the real world. My path to my degree from the University of Minnesota was nothing compared to my path to Mayo Clinic. It only took me three colleges to get a degree, it took me 46 jobs to find Mayo Clinic.
Twenty-two of those jobs were at eight companies between my degree and my current job at Mayo Clinic. I was fortunate enough to be able to choose every single one of those jobs and I do feel blessed for having the opportunity to make those choices.
My first job out of school was in marketing and I truly enjoy the mix of science and creativity that is marketing. However, when I was presented the opportunity to shift to new product development I had little idea how much that would change my career direction. I found even more challenge in developing products to fit market needs than in just figuring out the best way to get people to buy those products.
I continued to find ways to challenge myself and one of those was in changing market focus. My first product development focus was direct to consumer products and services, but after a few short years with a consumer market focus I was given the opportunity to develop and grow new products for businesses. This shift in market also represented my first opportunity to grow a business from the ground up, starting with just me as an employee and moving to a staff of 50+ and filled roles from customer service through business development was an amazing experience.
Growing this new business was the longest I was ever in a single job but the company chose to move out of the market. In retrospect it really was a good thing that the company moved on, because if it had not I probably never would have made the choice to leave and I may have never ended up where I am today.
My next stop was doing international marketing and product development. I really loved working internationally and saw parts of the world I would have never expected to see, but that much travel was not in the cards once we decided to have you.
I got a call from a recruiter about the same time we found out you were on your way, the new job was a combination of sales, product development and marketing. The job only lasted six months though, because the company was not a good fit. I left that job right before you were born and I got to spend maternity leave with you and your mom. I wouldn’t have traded the experience of spending the first weeks of your life with you for the world.
When it came time to go back to work, my next step in my career was a step back because I had finally decided I wanted to focus on doing something that meant something to me personally more than moving up in the business world. I took a job in product development and worked on a product that impacted people that I respect a lot. It was a great product and a great opportunity and I even managed to move into management within a few short months of starting there so the step back did not last long. Unfortunately, with all the pluses there I still had the feeling that I was missing something.
That feeling came almost simultaneously with the call from Mayo Clinic and when I finally took the job I could have never fathomed how my life was about to change for the better in so many ways.