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5 in 5! with health care employer Hollister Inc

April 13, 2011

Hollister Inc logo

Today we get a glimpse into the health care industry from Brian Will, director of human resources at global medical supplies company Hollister Inc.

Brian Will, HR manager at Hollister Inc

Brian Will

1. How did you get started in the industry? How can someone who is interested in your work get started?

Several years ago, I decided to make a career change to move into the health care industry. I have long had an interest in “giving back” to society in some way through volunteer activities or working for a company that helps others. I searched job boards and corporate web sites for employers that were in the health care field. When I visited Hollister Inc’s web site and read the “Chairman’s Vision,” I knew Hollister was for me and I applied on-line for an open HR manager position. Several interviews later, I was offered the position!

Someone graduating from college can enter the industry by being willing to start anywhere in a health care organization, whether that position is in the lab, doing entry-level finance, or working with customers over the phone. Having an open mind and connecting via networking is a great way to get started. Contact friends of family members who might work at the employer of interest and use every social networking tool as well. Networking is the name of the game these days.

2. What’s the future of your industry?

The future of the medical device industry is excellent given the fact that people are living longer thanks to innovation in health care. In our industry of ostomy care, continence care and wound care, there is a demand for products of superior quality that enable people to return to their families, jobs, fitness activities and communities following surgery.

3. What do you look for when you hire an intern or entry-level candidate?

I look first and foremost for sincerity: I want to work with someone who is passionate about what we do as a medical device developer and manufacturer. I also want to hire someone who is willing to work hard to make a difference in the company, in their career, in their co-worker relationships and in Hollister’s mission. If one doesn’t have the “soft skills,” he or she won’t make it far in the interview process.

4. What is one thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression?

Never forget that every action you take as an intern is observed by others, and that you reflect on not only yourself, but your family, college and people of your generation. It sounds like a lot of responsibility, and it is! Be on time, have a positive attitude, smile, and engage others in the office.

5. Can you share a positive intern story?

At Hollister, we have been fortunate to have had many excellent interns. There was one intern from Indiana University who worked in Accounting for the summer who streamlined our bank statement reconciliation process using Excel. The department was so impressed with the quality of his work that they recommended him for a global internship in our London office for the following summer. He is now on our short list to hire for a full-time position after graduation.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Ray Babowski April 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Wow, this is super helpful information. I am planning to make a job move tis summer and have wondered more than once, what HR managers and interviewers are looking for.


Alex April 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Thanks, Ray! This blog focuses primarily on internships, but I think a lot of the employer interviews (which you can browse through in the “Employer Posts” category on the right) have great insight for anyone trying to make a career move.


Bubba April 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Could you explain what Soft Skills are.


Brian Will April 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

Hi, Bubba. “Soft skills” are non-technical skills such as a person's ability to build co-worker relationships, effectively communicate and cooperate with others, influencing others when you don't necessarily have authority, common courtesy, enthusiasm, a pleasant personality, and on-the-job behavior. Some people also refer to soft skills as “emotional intelligence.”


LaShonda April 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Do you have to be in college to get an internship?


Alex April 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

Do you mean at Hollister, or in general? You can do some internships while you”re in high school. I”ll ask Brian if you want to know about this specific company.


Brian Will April 15, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Hi, LaShonda. Internships often are most frequently available to students who are transitioning from high school to college or while they are in college on summer breaks. Some students do co-op programs where they take a semester off from college to work at a company in the area of their career interest (for example, Accounting). A few companies offer high school student internships, but these are not as common. Companies who do offer these internships would typically partner with high schools to find students for such a program.


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