Name: Dulce Ocampo
Graduation Date/Yr: May 2018
Major: Marketing & Management
Minor: Sales & Sociology
Profession/Job: Medical Sales Rep/Clean-Trace™ Specialist, 3M
Q: It wasn’t too long ago, that you graduated and now working full-time at 3M-- can you talk a little bit about your experience with the transition from undergrad to graduate to full-time employee?
Dulce: Honestly, it all happened so fast. I remember being stressed in the St.Kate's library just wanting to be done with school and counting down the days till graduation. As soon as that day passed, I had roughly two months to have fun and be school free before starting my “adult career.” The change was terrifying, but I am glad it happened so fast. Change is the only constant thing in our lives so embracing it and having a short time to dwell on what I was losing was a great thing.
When I transitioned from undergrad student to graduate I no longer had to think about homework, research papers, online quizzes or that test I haven't even read the book for. Life was easy, chill, unrealistic almost. We spend the first 18 years of our conscious lives in school and then to finally be done to a degree where society will now respect you on your education is crazy.
Then to quickly transition into a full-time career in corporate America is even wilder. I can't complain though, I really do love the work I am doing, and it's meaningful to me. I know that the product I am selling is helping save lives and fight infections across the US. Plus I’m getting paid and have no homework or quizzes or research papers to think about. It's just my 40-hour commitment a week and then the rest of the time is mine.
Q: What networking events, extracurricular-activities, or programs were helpful to you when you were looking out for your life after St. Kate’s?
Dulce: I feel like a lot of the on-campus events and programs that St. Kate’s hosted for students were very beneficial for post-grad life. I was a business major, so I was regularly involved in all of the business department activities and events. Alumni panels, guest speaker events, business etiquette events, and networking opportunities were all apart of the resources that helped me with post-grad life. I would say that the majority of events the business department had were related one way or another to post-grad life. Other departments within St. Kate’s also provided resources like career development opportunities and internships.
Q: If you were able to give senior year Dulce tips about post-grad life what would it be? And why?
Dulce: Hmm, I would tell her that everything is going to be okay. To stop stressing over perfection and stop adding so many responsibilities to your plate. I would tell her to focus on finishing the school year strong but also living in the moment and enjoying the undergraduate life and all its glory. I think I got so wrapped up with being done and becoming an adult by graduating that I forgot how fun it was to be a student.
Q: What most do you miss about being an undergraduate student?
Dulce: Ugh, that’s a hard one haha. There is a lot of things I miss about being an undergraduate student… Like all the free food on campus, the late night study sessions with friends, the occasional nap in the library, and most importantly the people. I would say that the majority of people in academia are some of the happiest, smartest, and most caring individuals I have ever met. They are there to support you as a student and make sure you are enjoying your journey to graduation. I really miss that and all of the excellent professors that made learning fun.
Q: What exactly does your job entail at 3M? Can you talk about the experience of working an 8 hour job, 5 times a week (pls correct me if your schedule is different)?
Dulce: So I currently work for the Medical Solutions Division at 3M. Which means I work with Hospitals and Ambulatory centers across the US. As a Medical Sales Rep, my job is to sell central sterilization units, software systems, and testing swabs. Within this category of sales reps, I specialist in the Clean-Trace™ brand as a product specialist. My job is to support the entire US team of field and inside sales reps with anything regarding Clean-Trace™. I provide support via product knowledge, software building, and after sale resources.
The Clean-Trace™ ATP Monitoring System is a hygiene monitoring and management system used to measure pathogens and ATP (the energy molecule on all living organisms) in medical facilities. This product is used in Endoscopy, Environmental Services, and for Surgical Instruments. The customers I speak to are infection preventionist, sterile processing manager, or infection control nurses.
Yeah, so that schedule is correct. I work 40 hours a week but half of my days are spent working from home. 3M has a really great work life balance that they promote. My first manager would always tell me “We only pay you for 40 hours, so go home”, when he would see me working late. I value this schedule a lot because I know that once I close my laptop for the day, there is no need to be logging back in later that night. The 9-5 schedule can be scary coming out of college, but it’s honestly very flexible. Some of my coworkers come in at 7 am and leave at 3 pm. For most managers, I know that they are flexible as long as you are getting your 40 hours in a week.
Q: What is a word of advice you’d give a current Katie?
Dulce: Don’t give up on your dreams! College can suck sometimes and feel never ending, but the fact that you are there and doing it is more than half the battle. Just like anything in life if you can dream it your halfway there. Earn your education and then go off and do whatever you want in this world because no one will ever take that knowledge away from you.
Q: Anything else you’d like to add?
Dulce: I guess the last piece of advice I would like to say is that everyone is unique and has their own path lined up for them. I think it’s important to stay authentic to who you are and what you want out of life and let those values guide you. Always compete with yourself first and strive for excellence in whatever capacity that may look like to you.