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  • Writer's pictureStryker

Unlocking growth: Duke's experience with internal mobility and tips for success

Updated: Mar 15

At Stryker, we strongly believe in the power of internal mobility. Duke, a Regional Sales Manager in California, exemplifies the incredible opportunities that await those who embark on a career journey with Stryker.

Duke's #StrykerStory began in 2017 when he joined as an Associate Sales Representative for our Surgical business based out of Minnesota. His passion for improving healthcare paired with his professional drive opened doors for continued growth at Stryker. In January 2019, Duke, and his wife relocated to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he had accepted a role as a Brand Manager in Stryker's Orthopaedic Instruments division.

In March 2020, Duke embarked on yet another new adventure, moving to California, and accepting a sales role in Stryker's Orthopaedic Instruments division. He managed all of this while actively serving as the site lead for Stryker's African Ancestry Network (SAAN).

But Duke's thirst for knowledge and career aspirations didn’t stop there… in June 2023, he accepted a new role at Stryker and is now serving as a Regional Sales Manager for our Neurotechnology business.

About his career progression, Duke shared, “Stryker does an excellent job of internal mobility and being able to expose you to as many different things as you want to be exposed to. We promote a lot from within and Stryker is hyper-focused on stewarding and developing the talent that we have here to make sure that they achieve their highest goals.”

Over the last several years Duke has learned a lot about professional development and shared his best tips for internal mobility:

1. Build connections

“Stryker is a big company, but you need to take an active role in making it smaller. What I mean by that is build bridges! Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who may be doing something you think you might be interested in. You’d be surprised at just how much knowledge people have and their willingness to share it. We all have unique perspectives and experiences, and connecting with one another helps both parties grow and learn from each other. If you come to find out you wouldn’t enjoy what they do, at the very least, you have a brand-new connection in a different part of the business.”

2. Diversify your experiences

“If you have any interest at all in working in a Stryker corporate office and it makes sense for your family, DO IT. Working as a Marketing Manager really allowed me to see a lot of facets of the business, not just marketing, but finance, HR, legal, regulatory affairs, communications, R&D, etc. You learn so much about all the parts of this organization that really make this Stryker engine run and it changed my perception forever. Not to mention the amount of people you get to build relationships with!”

3. Find your “Board of Sponsors”

“Most of us have a mentor, or mentors, in some capacity. I would challenge you to find your sponsors. Sponsorship is a more active, more intentional, form of mentorship. Your sponsors are the people who have your best interest at heart and have the respect, influence, and tenure to advocate on behalf of you and your goals in those behind-closed-doors meetings. Along with your individual performance, this starts with you and taking a hands-on, proactive approach to your own development. You have to steward and cultivate your relationships with your mentor-like figures intentionally, because you cannot ask someone to make the leap to Sponsor for you and use their influence on your behalf if you have not gotten the chance to know them deeply and, ultimately, for them to know you deeply! I wouldn’t be where I am today without my sponsors at this company.”

At Stryker, we believe in investing in our people, nurturing their talents, and providing a supportive environment where they can thrive – and Duke’s story is just one example of what is possible.


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