By Kara Sherrer
Dylan Kirkwood (MBA’20) began career in the clinical side of healthcare. The Auburn graduate started as a registered nurse at the University of Alabama Birmingham hospital before moving to Nashville to continue his work as a nurse. While in Nashville, he started applying to schools to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) — then realized what he really wanted was a career change.
“I didn’t really want to do it (go to CNRA school). I realized I didn’t really enjoy the idea of anesthesia. I like working with people and networking,” he said. “I was at a crossroads, and I think I literally saw Vanderbilt’s billboard or something at the airport… I was like, ‘Hey, I could use my nursing background to branch out in healthcare.’”
He began researching business schools and studying for the GRE while still working night shifts at the hospital. While he considered other programs, Vanderbilt Business was his top choice, given its Nashville location and strong healthcare background. “I actually only applied to Owen,” he recalled.
Once school started, Kirkwood focused his recruiting energies on the healthcare industry, targeting medical devices companies in particular. His hard work paid off with a summer internship and ultimately a full-time offer from Medtronic. He’ll be entering their Leadership Development Rotation Program after graduation.
“They take really, really good care of their employees. It’s easy to say that in the info session stuff, but I actually saw it this summer… I knew it was the right fit, so I’m really excited to go to a place that I know will support me,” he said.
Click through the timeline below to find out how Kirkwood landed his offer.