Mike Golebiowski ’01, vice president of health care strategy and innovation at B. Braun Medical Inc., a German medical and pharmaceutical device company with a presence in more than 50 countries, began his career in health-care administration while a marketing student at Cal State Fullerton.
“I was working at Logic Nutrition while finishing my undergrad degree, and my market research project for school was focused on new products at Logic Nutrition, which was then utilized for product launches at the company,” says Golebiowski. “I always had an interest in health care, so I applied for an internship at B. Braun’s Medical Pharmaceuticals division in Irvine. During this time, I was active in the Cal State Fullerton chapter of the American Marketing Association, which facilitated an internship offer at Experian. This lead to B. Braun bumping up their offer.”
Nearly two decades later, Golebiowski leads marketing for the company from their U.S. headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, spearheading the branding of new health-care innovations, including the latest infusion and nutritional therapies, strengthening the company’s U.S. market, and expanding its global footprint.
The Titan grad credits his tenacity, commitment and innovation for his career success – skills he encourages others to exhibit to maximize their journeys.
“My work at B. Braun initially focused on supporting market research and product management projects,” he says. “I took on tasks that others didn’t want and surprised many with the results. My biggest lessons early on were to take on undesirable tasks that most pass on and try new and different approaches to deliver results. My achievements helped support several promotions in the organization. To this day, I’ve built my own personal brand of delivering despite facing many challenges and setbacks. Don’t be afraid to fail and keep grinding, and it will get noticed.”
The Rewards of Working in Health Care
With an aging population and new medical technology, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that employment in health-care occupations will expand by 18% by 2026, adding about 2.4 million jobs, much more than any other occupational category.
While many health-care jobs offer lucrative compensation, good benefits and advancement opportunities, it is the practical impact on others, such as neo-natal care technologies, that motivates Golebiowski to devote himself to the field.
“I love seeing the impact we have firsthand on people’s lives, which I get to see when I’m out in the field with my customers,” he says. “Early in my career, I witnessed small 2 kilogram babies not only grow, but thrive from the use of our products. Every time I go to the neo-natal ICU and see these tiny babies fighting to live, I’m reminded that what we do matters. This sets the bar for me. It helps remind me to keep going despite the complex challenges that life presents.”
For this experience and practical applications, Golebiowski counsels today’s young health-care professionals to start their careers on the front lines.
“You need to understand what’s happening at the customer level and, more importantly, with patients,” he says. “Starting off on the clinical side, either through volunteering, interning or as a representative is an invaluable learning opportunity. Absorb as much information as you can, follow the patient journey, and this knowledge and understanding will pay huge dividends in the long run. Today, we are focused on the challenging task of fixing the patient journey. You cannot provide value if you don’t understand what that journey entails.”
The Cal State Fullerton Business College Impact
Looking back on his Cal State Fullerton undergraduate days, Golebiowski, who is also a Purdue University MBA alumnus, points to coursework in marketing research methods, marketing strategies and economic development analysis as being particularly impactful.
“The most crucial element of your market research is understanding how the data is collected and analyzed,” he says. “My marketing strategies are built on my market research and are the foundation for developing sound positioning moves and deploying tactical resources. I continue to analyze and learn from other industries and apply their strategies in my health-care space, which all stems from my strategy class.”
Golebiowski has also utilized the global focus of a Cal State Fullerton business education in his career.
“My business is global. Health-care costs and economics drastically impact the organization in many ways, depending on the economic status of each country,” he says. “I have to take this into account when developing and launching products in international markets, and this is where my knowledge from my economic development course is applied.”