Meet Mario! A 2003 graduate from University of Maryland, College Park, Robert H. Smith School of Business and Owner/Managing Partner of Realtox Labs. Learn about his experiences at USG and see what he is up to now.
Starting from when you began your program at USG, what steps did you take to get to where you are today in your career?
During my time at USG, I balanced going to school full-time and working full-time. I really valued getting as much work experience as I could in order to build my career. While attending the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, I landed two internships — one at Morgan Stanley that I held throughout my two years at USG and another one during the summer of my junior year with General Electric (GE). The internship I did with Morgan Stanley was located in Chevy Chase, Maryland and I was able to get hands-on experience analyzing portfolios for high-wealth clients.
My internship with GE was at their offices in Greenville, South Carolina, where I worked within their Financial Management Program (FMP). The program was an intense, 10-week leadership-focused track where I learned job-related skills such as inventory management, supply chain management and the six sigma problem-solving tools.
I also made a point to attend several job fairs and information sessions to network with potential employers in hopes of landing as many interviews as possible — I saw every interview as an opportunity to get practice, even when it wasn’t my top choice.
After graduation I went on to work for Eli Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company, as their Territory Manager and Sales Representative. From there I got a job at St. Jude Medical, Inc., a medical device company, where I also did business development and sales. While at St. Jude Medical I was able to leverage relationships within my network so that I could parlay those relationships into a business of my own, Realtox Labs.
What do you do at your current job?
Realtox Labs provides clinicians and healthcare professionals with clinical lab testing services. My primary role at Realtox Labs is to grow the company, and I do that in two ways — through selling our services directly to potential clients and developing a sales force. Selling directly usually involves going out in the field to see customers, and trying to get referral business from those customers. I also use the network that I’ve built over my career to reach out and partner with sales distributors who can bring their current business to my company.
Developing a sales force is also a key factor that has contributed to the success of Realtox Labs. I am constantly interviewing for field positions, training personnel, and following up on leads. In the short time of owning the company it has grown from four employees to 28 employees.
How did your time at USG prepare you for your career?
USG really helped prepare me for the real-world. I learned how to manage my time and take advantage of all of the resources USG had to offer. I joined business groups and met with career coaches who helped me prepare my resume for job interviews. Everything I needed for my education and professional development was available to me at USG.
What was your most memorable experience at USG?
While I was at USG, a Student Association was created (now known as USG Student Council) and I was elected the very first Student President. As President, I participated in a variety of activities such as student forums, community service projects, and student life activities that aimed to enhance the students’ academic experience at USG. My most memorable experience was when I had the opportunity to deliver a speech at Montgomery College (MC) about the MC-to-USG pathway. I didn’t know at the time, but it was being broadcasted and some of my friends saw me on television. My friends were impressed and it was exciting to be “famous for a day.”
In 140 characters or less, what message would you give to future graduates?
Treat your career as a game of chess, not checkers. Always think ahead. Make smart moves. Continue working hard now, tomorrow & every day.