ONU grad Jared Slibeck is top associate for world leader of medical technology
Posted: Mar 19, 2013
Jared Slibeck ’96 currently works as a senior sales professional at Stryker Corporation, a Fortune 500 company and the world’s leading producer of medical technology. With more than 21,000 employees across 17 global manufacturing facilities, Stryker is an $8.7 billion company changing and saving lives.
Jared, how did you first get involved with Stryker?
I started out as an intern for UPS while I was at Olivet. From there, I was at Cintas until 2006, when I was approached about being a sales representative with Stryker.
How would you describe Stryker to someone who doesn’t know about it?
Stryker is one of the world’s leading medical technology companies and is dedicated to helping healthcare professionals perform their jobs more efficiently while enhancing patient care. The company offers a diverse array of innovative medical technologies, including reconstructive, medical and surgical, and neurotechnology and spine products to help people lead more active and more satisfying lives.
You’re called a sales professional, but you do quite a bit more than your title suggests, don’t you?
Well, I do work in sales and help train other professionals and associate reps at our company. But I spend a lot of my time traveling around the country training surgeons on our technology in cadaver labs. I also work in the actual operating room, coaching the surgeon on the use of Computer Assisted Surgical Instruments during a procedure. I use our technology to act like a GPS for the human body, using Infrared Optical trackers like a satellite to help navigate the surgeon on the best path during a surgery.
I’m guessing you’ve probably witnessed some incredible moments in the OR.
There was a young lady with a six-month-old baby. While she was pregnant, doctors discovered a tumor in the woman’s brain. The tumor was located around the fiber tracks that help with speech and motor skills. If the surgeon was to go straight in to get it, he would have to go through those areas controlling speech and motor skills. But with our advanced imaging and navigation, we were able to identify the fiber tracks, and how to avoid affecting those areas.
The patient remained awake during the procedure so we could test her functional abilities. At one point, the surgeon saw an important fiber structure right next to the tumor. When he pressed against it, the patient briefly lost the ability to move her left foot. If he had severed the fiber track, she could have lost function in her left leg or some other functionality. The tumor was removed successfully without causing any other damage. This would not have been possible without a skilled surgeon and the advanced Stryker technology.
You’ve helped save lives, you set the record for most sales in your company’s history, and you’ve won several awards. What is your proudest professional achievement?
People forget about setting records and winning awards. What I love is getting an opportunity to develop people within my company or other companies I’ve been involved with. Influencing them and watching them grow from where they started.
How would you say your Olivet education prepared you for your career?
I’m very thankful that Olivet had structure and guidelines for me, because it helped give me the self-discipline to prepare me for the rigors of the business world.
I also had an internship every summer during college, one of which Olivet set up for me. That was huge preparation. I always tell people, “Doing internships is just as much for you to intern the company, as it is for the company to intern you.”
Was there a certain ONU professor who impacted you most?
Dr. Paul Koch. I had a complete appreciation for his clarity in his teaching. Also, he didn’t sweat the small stuff. That’s something I really respected and admired about him.
What motivates you?
It’s not the money. My wife and kids are extremely important in my life. Still, my primary motivation is from God, who has given me a specific set of gifts and talents, and I have been working all my life to develop those gifts. I am constantly trying to increase my impact and influence as a Christian businessman, husband and father.
What advice do you have for young professionals entering the work force today?
Be bold in the workforce. Respect the views of others, but don’t shy away from your beliefs.
Jared Slibeck ’96 lives in Fishers, Indiana with his wife Maria (Dobson) ’97 and their children, Ella Grace (9) and Elijah (8).