Name: Kevin Y. Israelson ’09
Current job position (or additional field of study) and where:
Senior Surgical Device Specialist with Covidien in Chicago
Why did you choose MU?
I chose Millikin for a variety of reasons. By the time I visited Millikin, I had been to roughly 10 different schools. First and foremost, I was very impressed by the culture Millikin strives to achieve. Millikin promotes a very close-knit, family culture where the faculty is very approachable and always willing to help, especially if the student is willing to put in the work. Academically, MU is known for rigorous programs, producing well-rounded individuals in fields both inside and outside their respective majors, making them stand-out candidates for the job market. Finally, coinciding with the school as a whole, I highly respected the direction the football team was trying to move in and wanted to be a part of it.
What activities did you participate in as a student?
I participated in a variety of activities during my tenure at Millikin. These included being a member of the football team all four years, joining TKE [Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity], and a variety of intramurals.
Who was your most memorable MU professor and why?
For me, it is an absolute split between Professors Munoz and Bibb. I spent countless hours in both offices, especially during my senior year while working on my interview material throughout the six-month process with Covidien, as well as working on our international consulting research paper. Without these two individuals, I would not be where I am today.
What is your most memorable MU experience?
My most memorable experience at Millikin has to do with my market research class. It was by far the most difficult and fulfilling class I enrolled in. After an entire semester of working on a single project, our individual groups presented to a board of executives and were evaluated by the actual company we worked for. Following this, we were able to spend time with these individuals at LSB and celebrate the completion of the project. I took more away from that class than any other.
What is one concept you learned at Millikin that you use in your work regularly?
Millikin, above all else, taught me to take on any challenge, professional or personal, head-on and with honesty. During my time at Millikin, I was faced with a large variety of challenges that allowed me to learn that any problem, big or small, should never be handled dishonestly or avoided entirely. Conducting myself in this manner has always been a great key to my success post-graduation.
What do you enjoy most about your current job?
I relish the fact that my job changes and presents a different challenge every day. Every doctor I work with is completely different from the next and every surgery has its own challenges that require different products from my line. The ability to adapt to this ever-changing environment and to be an asset during these procedures is truly spectacular.
What have you done that you are most proud of since graduating from MU?
This past year, I won the Presidents Club award with Covidien. This award was given to the top 25 individuals in my division. Roughly 15 percent of the more than 500 Covidien representatives win this award.
Where do you hope to be five years from now?
Professionally, I hope to be in a management role with Covidien – preferably a regional manager in Chicago. Personally, I hope to have started a family.
What advice would you give to current Millikin students about preparing for life after graduation?
Start the interview process early! The most common mistake I see is students waiting till after graduation to start looking for a career. While at Millikin, you have access to so many resources that can give you an edge over the competition while applying.
Want to be spotlighted as the "Young Alum of the Month?" We are seeking recommendations and self-nominations for outstanding young alumni who have demonstrated innovative and responsible professional leadership and have the potential for future success. Email Jaclyn Weisenborn ’09, associate director of alumni engagement, with a short write-up of why you or your nominee should be considered for this profile. Please include a list of successes and achievements in your nomination, and attach a portrait or headshot (if available). One alum will be featured each month in MY Times.