Virginia Tech® home

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative in the Neuroscience Division at Lilly USA

Michael Jones

Michael Jones

  • Job Title/Company or Program/School: Pharmaceutical Sales Representative in the Neuroscience Division at Lilly USA.
  • (Undergraduate) Graduation Year: 2017
  • Neuroscience Major: Clinical Neuroscience, minor in Medicine and Society studies (MSOC).

What is your role currently? What do your day-to-day tasks look like?

I partner with health care professionals and those involved with patient care as a product expert to tailor solutions for patient therapy. I work in the field in Central VA and also partner with team members and thought leaders in the area to develop business strategies that meet customer needs. It is my responsibility to sell in a changing healthcare environment, utilizing critical thinking and a strategic mindset to understand the environment (payers, health systems, businesses) and gain access to customers to make an impact on patients’ lives. 

How did your education within the School of Neuroscience prepare you for your current role?

My experience at the School of Neuroscience gave me a comprehensive understanding of neuroscience that I can build on to understand our product and use in everyday interactions. Exposure to a broad range of topics bolstered my mental agility needed to continue learning in this area and shadowing with physicians through coursework gave me insights into communicating with healthcare providers and understanding their work environment. Customers want to know that the information they receive about a product is grounded in understanding from a business professional with experience in the field.

What are your ultimate career goals? When you first started college, was this your first career choice?

Broadly I’d like to continue my career in the medical industry to shape the way we bring new therapies to patients on a large scale. I intend to follow my interest in technology as the healthcare industry around us changes everyday and offers new challenges and new roles. Job opportunities will grow and change tremendously as we evaluate how we can adapt cutting edge technologies to real world applications that benefit the patients we serve. Entering my freshman year as a Biochemistry major, I knew I wanted to be a scientist, but took years of experience to discover what that might look like. The growing Neuro school gave me the opportunity to follow all of these ambitions with a multidisciplinary approach to learning.

What recommendations would you give to current or prospective students?

Follow your gut and take any opportunity that arises; you never know where it will lead you. Join the Neuroscience Club at VT, find an opportunity to research in a lab or a hospital job, and talk to everyone you meet with similar aspirations. Additional courses from Medicine and Society studies helped me shape my medical literacy and understanding of technology in modern society that showed me what I could accomplish in my career as a scientist.