It truly was a matter of luck. Complete luck, with no other explanation.
Let me paint a picture: It was my junior year of college and I had no career direction or any idea what I wanted to do after graduation. I headed to one of my favorite professor’s office to ask a few questions, and before I could get a word in he said “Do you want a cool internship for the fall?” Next thing I know, I am in a conference room wearing jeans and a polo shirt talking over my resume with 2 representatives from Benchmark-Systems.
I was completely unprepared to interview on that day, but to my surprise, it went exceptionally well; we talked about skills I had acquired over the years and what I had been involved in at school. I was able to be completely transparent in that I had no idea what I wanted for my career. I walked out of the room dumbfounded by how personable and genuine these people were, and was eager to hear back as to what the next steps might be.
Fast forward 4 months and it’s the fall semester of my senior year and I am starting my Sales & Marketing Internship with Benchmark-Systems. I did not have much experience in sales or marketing, but I was certainly willing to give it a shot and see how things went. Immediately, not only did this internship have me stepping out of my comfort zone to do lead generation and run marketing campaigns, but I was able to gain my first-ever experience in a corporate culture. It was nothing like what I expected; it was actually fun! We had a few sales competitions amongst our team and had much success within our campaigns. The people and culture at Benchmark-Systems are what really made the role great. We had an intern room at the time and other employees would always stop by to make us feel welcome. I really got to know the folks I worked with during this time and realized how much of a family atmosphere it really was, to my complete surprise with it being a corporate environment.
I worked for Benchmark-Systems that entire semester, generally working about 20 hours a week while I was still in school. I came to get to know the people really well, and it was apparent to me that I was working for a company that truly valued their employees. As an intern, I was given holidays just like the other full time staff, invited to luncheons, and I felt included. As I continued my internship through the following spring semester, I started to feel a sense of direction with what I wanted to do with my career, and working at Benchmark-Systems was at the top of my list. I felt at home here, and the environment was very team and family oriented; something I wanted to very much to have a permanent part in.
I started discussing with my manager how I could possibly be of use after graduation in a full-time roll. After that, Benchmark set me up on a departmental rotation – sitting with all the different departments for a day and learning their functions. I was so shocked that they were going to let me pick a department that I thought I fit best in and then let me talk to the respective managers. I felt like I was part of the family.
After touring all the departments and gaining an understanding of how they all work individually, but all together as one big team, I decided to pick training & implementation. I thought (and it has proved) this would be a challenging environment that would force me to learn the ins and outs of the industry. I have enjoyed working on the training team through the years, and have gotten my feet wet in a lot of different capacities within the implementation process. I started out doing patient portal implementations as well as EHR template design and customization work. Since I was already designing templates on the EHR side, I started doing the encounter form and patient demographic form design on the PM side for when we adopted new clients. That transitioned into learning how to write reports in PM, which is now one of my main responsibilities along with managing the Implementation & Training team. Along the way I also learned HL7 and became the go-to guy for any in-house HL7 interfaces we were supporting or setting up. That includes communicating with outside lab and radiology vendors, as well as other EMR vendors for some of our clients who have our PM only (their loss ).
My most recent role as manager of Training & Implementation, has been a great role to fill and I get to work with an awesome team day in and day out. They truly are a great group of folks who are extremely knowledgeable not only with our products, but industry norms and trends as well. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy working with these folks and have loved every second of it over the past 3 years!
Wrapping this up, working for Benchmark-Systems has been nothing but a pleasure and they have treated me like family since starting as an intern 4 years ago. The transition to AntWorks has made things ever better in my opinion; the family vibe of the Benchmark culture fused with the Fresh, Fearless and Fast motto by AntWorks is a recipe for success. I can’t wait to see this company grow and turn into a disrupter in the HIT industry as we start to roll out new technologies and shatter expectations. Forward we go, with that same family, friendly atmosphere and the Fresh, Fearless and Fast mindset!