Auto Bodies to Healthy Bodies
By Becca Broaddus
David McGee loves two things: driving fast and working out. A little less than four years out of college, and he’s been able to incorporate both into his career.
“I’m big into health and fitness,” he said. “It aligns with my core beliefs and my passions. Now, through my job at Eli Lilly, I can help others with their health.”
McGee is a diabetes pharmaceutical sales representative. It’s a job near to his heart because he is helping people who are trying to get their diabetes under control. He’s helping his family.
“My dad and grandmother suffer from diabetes,” he shared. “My dad was diagnosed with Type 2 [diabetes] about 10 years ago. Treatment options have changed a lot since he was diagnosed. Over the phone, I was coaching my dad. Now, he’s losing weight. He’s in control. One thing that melted my little heart was that my dad thanked me for saving his life. That’s not something you expect to hear from your dad.”
The sales industry isn’t typically associated with helping others, but that’s exactly how McGee sees his career.
“People innately want to help other people,” he said. “This is one way I can do that. I am out here to help people. I think this is what God intended for me.”
He moved to pharmaceutical sales about a year and a half ago, after working in the automotive industry following his graduation. As an automotive aftermarket sales representative at 3M, he worked with distributors as well as body shops to ensure processes worked smoothly and effectively. He admits he misses working with cars some days, but thanks to a body-shop-owner-turned-friend he met at his previous gig, he has a place to work on cars and small automotive projects.
McGee said the shift from auto to pharmaceutical sales wasn’t too difficult.
“Sales are sales. It’s not easy being a rep… but I love sales, and I love being an outside sales rep.”
Both jobs have kept the native Texan in the Pacific Northwest, which he loves despite the scarcity of sweet tea. The location and the job challenge him, but that’s why he has stayed.
“I’ve been in Seattle for three years for both roles,” he said. “One of the reasons why I stayed in Seattle was for personal growth. Being outside of Texas and away from home is a challenge. I love Texas, Whataburger and my mom. I always want to move back to Texas, but God has led me to everything I’ve done, from going to Baylor to taking my job.”
McGee credits joining the Professional Selling Program as “one of the best decisions [he’s] ever made,” since it got him on the right career track, but he imagines his career moving beyond outside sales eventually.
“I don’t see myself being a sales rep forever. I understand this is where it starts,” he said. “I’m growing my personal skills and personal brand. Eventually, I’ll go inside and do a more traditional 9-to-5-maybe as a vice president of sales or an area manager. That really tickles my fancy.”
Inside or outside, one thing is for sure: McGee will find a way to continue to drive fast and promote a healthy lifestyle.
Baylor Business Review, Spring 2018