A Day in the Life: ‘17 Healthcare Sales graduate pitches her advice to current students

Stephanie Hernandez, a 2017 graduate of the university, says that it’s hard to describe what a day in her life looks like, because every day is different. As a Healthcare Sales major, Hernandez moved to California, to begin her career as soon as she graduated. Much of her sales experience came from working at a marketing firm and doing door-to-door sales, selling anything from office supplies to T-Mobile accounts.

“I was a top representative for various offices and I also traveled across the country such as Las Vegas and Miami,” Hernandez remembers. “Not many would expect to do door to door sales after college, but it really helped me grow as a person both professionally and personally. The skills I obtained help me at my current position right now.”

A Day in the Life

Currently a territory manager for Apria Healthcare, Hernandez works to sell medical equipment to clinics and hospitals in her area. Sales is not really about the product– it is more about the relationships, as Hernandez builds relationships with physicians and other medical staff in order to build trust. When asked to tell us more about what a day in her life looks like, this is what Hernandez said:

Our company has been pretty busy with the pandemic. Over a year ago, when I first got hired, the sales representatives were not even in the field [selling to companies]– we were handing out oxygen tanks directly to patients at hospitals. I think about that every time I drive past a hospital, and it is great to know that I helped accomplish that.

My typical day varies; I wake up early in the morning and make sure I have some breakfast. Then I go on my laptop, read emails, make some follow-up calls and attend Zoom meetings. After that, I head out to my assigned territory and target some clinics and hospitals I am to follow up with or cold call and introduce myself. Sometimes I have a meeting directly with a physician and I provide lunch for the medical staff.

I really like what I do because I like numbers and I like working with people. I have a sales target to hit every month so I am always making sure I am on top of my numbers.

I then go home and cook myself dinner, which is something I really enjoy. I usually go on a walk sometimes at the beach since I only live three and a half miles from the Santa Monica Pier! Before I go to bed, I like to meditate.

Back to the Roots

Knowing about Hernandez’ current life only scratches the surface of who she is, and how she got to where she is today. In speaking with her, I learned that she was a first-generation college student, and both her parents were immigrants. She wants current students in this same vein to know that they are not alone.

“The college experience… can be stressful for someone who would be the first one in their family to graduate,” Hernandez said. “I was a first-generation college student and both my parents were immigrants, but I know I was given strong traits from them, such as a strong work ethic and perseverance. These traits will undoubtedly set you up for success and help through your college pathway as well.”

During her time at St. Kate’s, Hernandez was involved in the office of Multicultural and International Programs and Services (MIPS), Latina Student Association (LSA), and St. Kate’s Hip-hop team.

“I loved the diversity of this campus, so I definitely wanted to get involved and also make friendships along the way,” said Hernandez.

Time at St. Kate’s

Hernandez transferred into St. Kate’s. She was drawn to our community by the beautiful campus, small class sizes, and strong emphasis on healthcare. Through her interest in healthcare, Hernandez discovered the Healthcare Sales program.

“It was great to meet sales managers and representatives that came and talked to us about their careers,” Hernandez said of her experience with St. Kate’s alumnae coming to speak as guests in her classes. “[This] really gave me a view on what I was getting myself into.”

Though her program had a huge impact on her, Hernandez said her favorite part of college was the social activities, especially the Dia de los Muertos event hosted by LSA.

“Growing up in rural Minnesota, I was the only Hispanic girl in my class. So to attend an event that was part of my culture, including the foods and music I grew up with, really had a positive impact on me,” said Hernandez. “At that time, I knew I wasn’t alone and that we all had something in common.”

Advice for Current Students

I asked Hernandez if she had advice to offer current students. Her response was:

  • Set goals for yourself. Hernandez quotes Zig Ziglar in her answer: “‘A goal properly set is halfway reached.’ Whether it’s choosing a major, knowing what career you want or what company you want to work for, there are resources at St. Kate’s that will help you!”
  • Take advantage of the programs at St. Kate’s. “To make your college experience worth it, make sure you reach out to alumnae or network with other professionals and look for companies that would benefit from your degree. There are so many opportunities out there, don’t be afraid to push yourself or even make mistakes, these will help you grow!” Hernandez also says that there is no shame in changing your major, just do your research!
By Mandy Hay
Mandy Hay Career Assistant