700 words, 5 minute read
A little less than a year ago, I moved across the country to start my career at a healthcare tech company in New York City. I frequently get asked, “why did you move to New York from Missouri?” or “why did you want to be in tech?”
Over the next 4-5 minutes, I’m going to walk through why I moved to NYC two weeks after I graduated and how I got to where I am today. Plus, a few tips to make your job search easier!
Let’s take a step back to my 3rd and final internship at ImageQUEST, a Xerox company, located in Kansas City Missouri. I decided on this internship because selling copiers and printers is SEXY. Okay no, let’s be real. The reason I chose this internship is that if you can sell printers/copiers, you can sell anything.
I was advised by my sales professor at the University of Missouri to take this internship and I’ve been grateful for his guidance since. This started as a traditional internship with shadowing people in the field to sales training to weekly 8:00am sales meetings, but quickly evolved into a “non-traditional” internship. I was given my own territory in downtown Kansas City consisting of 2,000+ accounts. Every day I would map out my route of 10-25 strategic stops and go out in the field and literally pull doors. I’d come back to the office, update the CRM, make some calls, and if I was lucky, fill out a contract. During my time at ImageQUEST, I closed 3 deals.
My internship is what fueled my love and drive for sales.
Tip 1: Get an internship (the more the better)
Since I was already cold calling accounts in Kansas City and getting rejected on the daily, I quickly built up the confidence to cold call businesses in other cities during my downtime.
When I had the free time, I researched healthcare companies. This search was too broad so I narrowed my search to healthcare technology companies.
Why healthcare? Healthcare is recession proof. I also come from a family of healthcare professionals. I’ve always been passionate about mental health and mission-driven companies. So, healthcare made sense.
Why technology? Almost, if not all, businesses have a tech component and selling SaaS is a huge market. Right now, only about 25% of people in the tech industry are women. Graduating gals, let’s work together to change the perception of sales.
With more and more research, I figured out I wanted to be in a large tech market. This narrowed my search to two major tech cities:
- San Francisco, CA
- New York, NY
Tip 2: Do your research
After you sort through your interests and are informed about what the industry you’re interested in looks like, look for businesses that match your criteria. I used a variety of helpful websites like AngelList, Crunchbase, and LinkedIn to find healthcare tech startups in NY and CA.
With information at my fingertips, I was able to quickly find answers to questions like:
- How large is the sales team at X organization?
- How much funding does this organization have?
- How many employees?
- What do the benefits look like at X organization?
- Work from home policy
- Transportation benefits (ex: subway card)
- Vacation policy (ex: unlimited PTO)
- What is the company’s mission and vision?
Next, I started reaching out to people on LinkedIn, inquiring further about the company and positions they were hiring for.
Only ~25% of people in the technology industry are women.
Tip 3: Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you don’t know
Everyone is a stranger before they are a friend. Plus, you’re never going to get someone to speak with you if you don’t put yourself out there.
I started getting people to speak with me and got my name in the door at lots of different companies. When I got back to school to finish up my last semester, I had a great sense of confidence as to what companies and roles I wanted to apply for.
Even after I competed in two sales competitions, with job offers that followed, I stuck with the number one company I wanted. I started reaching out to this healthcare tech startup when I was interning.
I received a job offer in September, graduated in December, started January 1st, 2018.
Good luck with your search! If I could do it, so can you.