Lynn serves as director of national accounts for Cepheid, a molecular diagnostics company. In her previous role as strategic client director for GE Healthcare, Lynn was responsible for business development and sales for the entire products and services portfolio. Prior to that, she was operations manager at Cedars Sinai Health Systems and general manager at Accredo Health Group. Lynn has over 25 years of healthcare management experience in sales, marketing, operations and program development.
Born and raised in Omaha, Neb., Lynn moved to Los Angeles to attend California State University, Long Beach where she received her bachelor’s degree in nursing. Early on in her career, managers began to notice Lynn’s natural leadership skills and put her in charge of teams. She thrived in these leadership roles, but knew that in order to advance her career within the healthcare industry, she needed to get her MBA.
While an MBA student at LMU, Lynn joined the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Black MBA Association. She started out as an event volunteer, progressed to membership chairperson and eventually served four years as president. Whether it’s obtaining an advanced degree, getting involved in professional organizations or managing large multi-state operations, Lynn knows what it takes for a woman – especially a minority woman – to succeed in today’s competitive business environment.
Were you always interested in healthcare and the medical field?
My father was a surgeon so I got the bug early from hanging out in hospitals. I was initially planning to become a physician but chemistry and I did not mix. Nursing was a better fit for me – I find it to be more compassionate and flexible.
Why did you decide to get your MBA and why did you choose LMU?
From a leadership perspective, I knew I needed to continue my education and get an advanced degree. Having an MBA would open doors to new opportunities, make me more marketable and differentiate me from the crowd. I visited several universities around L.A. and I was really drawn to LMU’s location and intimate campus. I also liked the fact that every class had a strong ethics component – it really aligned with my core values.
How has having an MBA benefitted your career?
It’s been huge. Having an MBA has opened so many doors for me in the healthcare industry. If you want to go the leadership tract, especially as a nurse, it really sets you apart. Having a combination of clinical and business skills is so valuable. The healthcare industry is going through a major transition right now so having a strong business foundation is really important.
What do you like most about your job?
No two days are the same. This job allows me to utilize both my clinical and business backgrounds to better serve the needs of our customers. My customers know that I will advocate for them and help them whatever the circumstances. I work with a team of sales reps and the thing I like most about my job is problem solving. I meet a lot of people and try my best to balance everyone’s needs so there’s a strategy and solution that benefits everyone.
Tell me about your involvement with the National Black MBA Association?
The National Black MBA Association has been so important for networking and having a support system. To be honest, there were not a lot of people in the MBA program or even at work who looked like me so this association allowed me to connect with mentors who had similar values and goals. I was able to meet people from a variety of industries and learn about the career challenges they’ve faced.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m most proud of my first management job working for neonatal ICU at California Medical Center. It was during this time that I realized I wanted to take the management track and go to graduate school. I learned so much in the five years I was there. Beyond personal growth, I was working in an intercity hospital with lots of high-risk babies. I inherited a department that was a mess and was able to successfully turn it around. By the time I left, the department had been credentialed by the State of California. There was better training, better physicians and better staff – I felt I really made a difference in people’s lives.
In your opinion, what are the top three qualities a person must possess to be a great manager?
1) A sense of calm: the ability to digest and analyze a situation. The key is keeping everyone calm during stressful times while coming up with solutions. 2) A never-ending desire to learn: no matter where you are in your career, continue to learn, read articles and talk to people. Industries are constantly changing so you must keep up! 3) A work/life balance: you need to be confident in who you are and what you bring to the table. It’s okay to take time off. You need to completely detach yourself from work; otherwise it’ll catch up to you.
What’s your advice to women and minorities who want to obtain leadership positions?
It’s very important for women and minorities to get an advanced degree. The workforce is highly competitive for leadership jobs and having that advanced degree makes a huge difference. It speaks to your commitment to stick with something. Invest in yourself and get involved in professional organizations that will connect you to even more like-minded people.