One thing that makes Stryker unique is the core belief that our employees have the power to forge their own career paths – and where you start doesn’t limit where you’ll end up. In 2017, Chantelle knew she wanted to break into medical education but didn’t have the experience - yet. She got her foot in the door at Stryker working as a contract Candidate Care Specialist in Canada, eventually working her way through several roles and businesses before landing her dream job as an Associate Program Manager of Medical Education for our Orthopaedic Instruments business in the United States.
How did she do it? What did she learn along the way? Chantelle shared a few lessons she learned along her inspiring journey.
Here’s what she had to say:
1. “If you want to break into an industry, you have to be willing to start again at the bottom."
When Chantelle started at Stryker, she was coming from a previous career that had left her feeling dissatisfied. She shared, “People can have the skill sets and personality for different roles, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be fulfilled.” Recognizing her desire for a career that she loved, she was ready to chase her dreams of working in medical education.
The biggest lesson she learned when starting over? It’s crucial to be willing to start at the bottom when entering a new industry and that, ultimately, your experience will pay off. She shared, "If you're committed to that goal and building your own personal and professional development, it's going to come in time." Your journey may begin with an entry-level position, but the skills you acquire will set the foundation for your future success.
2. “People get caught up on your degrees and all of that. Your experiences and your personal brand are really what's going to carry you."
With a degree in sports management, Chantelle’s experience challenges the notion that your college major defines your path. Chantelle’s story highlights that experience and personal brand play a pivotal role in chasing your dreams. "Don't get caught up on those details," she advises, reinforcing the idea that who you are, your experiences, and how you apply your transferable skills matter most.
Despite not having a medical background, Chantelle used her on-the-job experiences to build her knowledge base and develop a personal brand that focuses on her skills, commitment to customer service, and dedication to medical education. This enthusiasm for continual growth and learning paid off. In 2023, Chantelle was recognized for playing a pivotal role in an education offering that was recognized as the “Best in-person program” for medical education during our Global Medical Education Summit.
3. “You might be their only interaction with Stryker, you might be their first, you might be their last. Make every interaction count.”
As a Candidate Care Specialist, Chantelle recognized the impact of being the first point of contact for potential hires, this skill is something she’s carried into each of her subsequent roles. Whether interacting with a candidate, a customer or colleague, Chantelle’s goal is to make every interaction count.
This mindset of prioritizing positive and meaningful connections has been a guiding principle throughout her life and led to her building lasting connections that have helped shape her career – including her first break into medical education. To stay at Stryker and continue to learn the business after her candidate care contract ended, Chantelle took on a role in customer service. She quickly realized this role wasn’t a fit, and was considering leaving Stryker. But she shared her goals with people in her Stryker network, and, because of her strong relationships and credibility, when the opportunity to cover maternity for someone on the medical education team came open, Chantelle was at the forefront of the team’s mind.
4. “Your best way to continue to advance is by getting formal feedback and not being afraid to ask."
Chantelle's career progression has involved continually seeking feedback and being willing to implement changes. She noted “What you think is landing and what your audience thinks is landing may not be in alignment.” Sometimes this requires sitting with the feedback and determining a path forward. Overall, she encourages individuals to ask for formal feedback, highlighting its role in personal and professional growth, sharing, “the best way to continue to advance is getting that formal feedback. All it’s going to do is make you better.”
Whether you're at the start of your career or considering a change in course, Chantelle’s non-traditional path from customer care to being honored for her innovative medical education programs is a reminder that when you chase your dreams, you just might catch them.