From Marketing to Healthcare: Carlson MBA Alum Aces Career Pivot

From Marketing to Healthcare: Carlson MBA Alum Aces Career Pivot

Thursday, October 6, 2016

About Kelly

Program: Part-Time MBA
Current position: Director of Market Development, Medtronic
Career experience: Five years’ experience in marketing for Caterpillar, and later Loram; employed with Medtronic since 2012
Undergrad degree: BA in Finance, Iowa State University
Time to complete the program: 2.5 years
Favorite thing about the Carlson School: “The part-time program allowed me to continue to work and get valuable career experience as I was getting my MBA. And the things I was learning were directly applicable to my day-to-day: I not only learned it, I put it into action.”
Best advice for business students: “Take the opportunity to do your MBA. It allows you to have a focused environment to gain understanding of business and accelerate your learning.”

The Carlson Part-Time MBA Program enabled Kelly Jorgensen to break into the healthcare industry. Today, she’s working as director of market development for Medtronic and increasing patients’ access to care in emerging markets around the world. 

Kelly Jorgensen, ’12 MBA, began her career in the construction industry. Seeking a change, she joined the Carlson Part-Time MBA Program. And as she explored the many facets of business, Jorgensen reoriented her career from marketing and sales, to international business. 

Today, she helps patients in emerging markets access life-changing medical treatments. As director of market development for Medtronic, she works to improve the healthcare infrastructure in emerging markets across Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

“I started recognizing that employers were prioritizing candidates with an MBA.  And for good reason: These organizations recognize that in order for you to work in a global marketplace, you have to have the knowledge that comes from getting an MBA,” she says.

Discovering a passion for healthcare

Jorgensen’s parents and spouse all worked in healthcare, and she was intrigued by the field. She took full advantage of the Carlson School’s connections to the medical industry—networking with companies and exploring different career paths. She also relied on the Graduate Business Career Center (GBCC) to frame her career experience to better compete in the healthcare employment market.

“I knew I wanted to accelerate my career and switch industries. The GBCC did a great job of prepping me for engagements I had with companies and helping me put my best foot forward,” she says.

When she graduated from the Carlson Part-Time MBA Program, she joined Medtronic’s Leadership Development Rotational Program, developing the next generation of products for cardiac surgery in emerging markets. 

Transforming healthcare around the globe

As Jorgensen ascends the ranks at Medtronic, lessons from the global immersion course she took during the MBA Program in India come in handy: the course, led by Professor Mani Subramani, brought students overseas to explore the healthcare landscape in India.

“[Subramani] exposed us to a number of different multinational organizations that were doing business in India. We learned so much, so quickly: to get those same experiences would take you years of on-the-job training,” she says.

Looking back, Jorgensen cites studying abroad as a turning point that ultimately led to a fulfilling career with a fantastic company.

“I found my passion for healthcare in emerging markets because of [Subramani],” she says. “To know that the work that I’m doing is impacting the number of people who receive healthcare and treatment is an incredibly fulfilling thing.”

Watch her journey: