Mentoring Week Bonus: A Conversation with Carla Jung – VP of Sales Coronary and Renal Denervation at Medtronic

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Join me as we kick off the bonus episode series for mentoring week.  Today we are starting the conversation with Carla Jung – Vice President of Sales, Coronary and Renal Denervation at Medtronic.  We had so much fun discussing the importance of mentoring, best practices to implement in your life and how the process is like oxygen for Carla.  Listen today and be sure to connect.

  • Mentoring and its positive impact on personal growth.
  • Mentoring and its impact with Medtronic leaders.
  • The importance of prioritizing goals and seeking mentors in various aspects of their life, including career and personal development.
  • Why it’s important to reflect on what needs to be done to move the needle in your life, and how reaching out to others can be mutually beneficial.
  • Medtronic leaders share insights on mentorship, personal growth, and diversity.
  • Mentoring and coaching with distinctions.
  • The importance of taking action and making decisions to achieve personal growth.
  • Rally Foundation – Christy Brown Medtronic 


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Episode Transcript: (Transcribed by OtterAI with minimal edits)

You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque, and today’s episode I’m sharing a recent conversation with Carla Jung, Vice President of Sales coronary and renal denervation at Medtronic, and our special series on mentoring. Unknown Speaker 0:17 Welcome to the richer time podcast the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule so you can strive to be the best in your career but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress you are in the right place.

0:41 Hello, hello. Hello, welcome back to the podcast friends I have a special treat for you today. We are starting a new series specific to mentoring as we look to amplify mentoring with January being Mentoring Month. And you know I am a huge fan of mentoring and I am so excited to share all of the folks with you in this series and today. We are starting with Carla Jung. Carla is the Vice President of Sales coronary and renal denervation. For Medtronic. Her career spans many divisions and positions, which you will hear about when she introduces herself and we talked about not only the importance of and how mentoring has been so important in her life, but also the importance of knowing your why making sure you know who is in your lifeboat your professional boat, how you can make mentoring easy, and the importance of giving back and also being willing to make lateral moves through your career, something she is super passionate about talking about. It was a privilege to speak to Carla and I hope you are able to find the gems in this episode that work for you. So without further ado, please take a listen. Okay, thank you so much for being here. This is going to be so much fun. Can you maybe start by just introducing yourself in a way that works for you sharing all of the goodness that you see fit?

Yeah. Thanks, Michelle. Thanks for having me on. So I am when I thought about my introduction I had to think about I had to work backwards. I am a daughter to Eileen and George Jiang. My parents my dad was a a Xerox sales man. So he inspired me to go to sales. I am a sister, a twin sister. I’ve one sibling to Mia Jiang. And Mia is in the private equity space. We both grew up in this healthcare world together. And she’s one of my best friends. She’s a mentor to me. I am a wife to my husband, Jason. And Jason is also in the healthcare space. He works at another health care company, but we actually met selling pacemakers and defibrillators. So he’s, he was former military and he brings out all the the good moral compass in our family. I’m a mom, to my son, or my sorry, I should start with my daughter, Anna. Grace. She’s 15 years old. She’s a sophomore in high school. And my little guy, Landon, who’s not so little anymore. He’s 11 years old. I’m a friend. I love having friendships, from childhood, to college to raising kids, I, I am a collector and a keeper of all friends from different stages in my life, because I feel like they unlock certain aspects of who I am as a person. I am a mentor and a mentee to to many Constant Learner. So I definitely value and treasure all the people that I mentor and then also who I’m a mentee to. And I’m a vice president of sales to an organization of about 150 people. I feel grateful every day that someone put me in that position that I get to lead the troops and help to support their success and tackle any, you know, challenges that are in their way. And yeah, so that’s who I am. I love that. I always joke because I say there are not many people that grow up and say they want to be in sales. So here you are. I I know, I thought my dad told me when I was three told me and my twin sister Mia, you’re destined for sales because I was like, Well, I want to be an astronaut. And Nia was like, I want to be a doctor. And he’s like, nope, new girls are going into sales. And we knew at that time, we didn’t want to sell copy machines. God bless selling copy machines. It’s awesome. But I knew that I had put me through college, I knew that I had a passion for helping patients live healthier lives. And I’ve always always had that passion. So that’s why I ended up going into sales and did pharmaceuticals and then 23 years in medical devices and feel so lucky that I found this industry because not a lot of people know about it. And that’s one of the reasons why I love helping people to raise awareness to this incredible industry that we’re all in. It is and it really is like a ripple effect that we make and I think it’s so important

5:00 And, and another theme I kind of hear you talking about is like the importance of importance of connection, like whether it be your friends, your family, your employees, like that’s so much fun. And this is a serious specific to mentoring, which you also mentioned. So can you maybe talk a little bit about why you think it’s so important and also a little bit about your journey, because having the position that you’re in, I imagine there must have been mentors along the way to help. Know, yeah, this is such a great way to do this. So we could Thanksgiving because I’m so filled with gratitude, always, for people who have supported me and helped me to along this journey. But I think mentoring is so important. You know, Sean Salman actually had said this, and I think he borrowed this from somebody else, but it resonates with me, you learn it, you earn it, and you return it in life. And I love that, because I think, I believe that as you move into different positions, whether it’s a lateral move, or whether it’s up, you know, as you get more experienced, and tenured and your career, I think it should be in the job description, that you help people along the way in the organization. And I have been lucky to have had so many mentors, and I’ll get that to that in a second. But I just feel like I’m filled with gratitude. I’ve had a long journey. 23 years, I’ve it’s been ups and downs. It hasn’t been, you know, straight up a ladder, it’s been more of a jump jungle gym, and lots of lateral moves. And I’ve loved every minute. And I just feel like if I can help somebody, learn from, you know, what I’ve done, whether their successes or mistakes, I would, it just, you know, it that fills my cup fills my soul, because I’ve feel like 23 years is a long time. And I just want to be able to help people to get to where they want to go. So go ahead. I was just gonna say, continue on, please. I didn’t mean it as right. But I do want to come back to you. Because I think what you mentioned is so important the opportunity to make lateral moves to so we’ll come back to that I know there are specific mentors you want to talk about. Oh, yeah, I love that topic, too. That could be a whole other podcast.

7:11 Stop looking at straight up the ladder, start looking side by side. But I’ll get to that question in a second to keep us on track. I guess I have, you know, in my family because my husband was military, we say to our kids all the time, who’s in your lifeboat? Who’s in your lifeboat? Like who sits in your lifeboat? Who do you surround yourself with? Because that really shapes you. And you might have a personal life boat, you might have a professional lifeboat. I feel like at this point in my career, I have one big lifeboat that, that I’m lucky to have, you know, not just my family, but friends and professional mentors in that lifeboat. And when I, the reason why I came to Medtronic, quite honestly, 12 years ago was there was a woman who’s still at Medtronic, her name is Pam red sporran. And she reached out to me and said, hey, you know, there, I would love for you to come and consider a role at Medtronic in the pacing space. And I said, you know, I’ve been in the pacing space for 11 years. And I love, love, love the experience that I’ve had, I’m really interested in structural heart, and I’d love to dust off my brain, I’d love to love to learn something different and something new. And I loved my experience in the pacing space, but I just wanted, I just was extremely curious about structural heart and transcatheter valves. And she offered me a job in the cardiac surgery division. And I looked up to her as a mentor, because I thought, well, first of all, I was surrounded at my previous company with only male leaders. I don’t know why we might have had one female leader. But I knew that I wanted to continue my journey. I think I was a good sales rep. But I always made my number. But I think what really fulfills me as an individual and as a person is leading a team, because my goal has always been to leave a team in a better place. And when I got there from a performance standpoint, but also a cultural standpoint. So when I looked at Pam, I said, Wow, she’s an incredible leader. She’s a mom, she there was so much that I identified with her that I said, Alright, I’m coming on board. And she, she, she was a strong mentor, one of the mentors that really had a big impact on my career was like Matthias. I was.

9:26 I was a manager for so long, and helped to build out the Structural Heart team. And when the time came for us to split the country and add directors. I didn’t put my name in. I wasn’t thinking about putting my name in for that job. And he called me and he said, You need to put your name and to be considered for this role. And I was like, Ah, I’ve got a son. He’s got a daughter who’s three or four. I’ve got a son who’s just born, not the right time. I can’t do it. I doubted myself. I really didn’t think I could do it. I was like, Well, what does a director do? Unknown Speaker 10:00 I didn’t know. Unknown Speaker 10:01 And he believed in me. And he told me you need to make an impact on more people than then your direct team right now. And that was the first person that really pulled me up and said, I believe in you, you can do this, you know, you might not, you may have some gaps in skill sets here. But what you have is hard to learn, and train. And that’s, you know, so anyway, I really will always value that conversation that I had with him because I almost didn’t, because I worried about my going to be there for my kids, I’m going to be traveling, I’m a wife, I, you know, for me, leading teams is it’s a big responsibility. You invest in these people that work in your organization, you care about them, you help them, you support them. And that takes a lot of time and energy. So I was concerned about that. And I’m so appreciative to this day, Tom all the time. But he had faith in me and saw something that he felt that I could do the job. That’s so nice. And we just came back from women and leadership. And they talked about that the the inner critic that we all have, and it’s so great to be able to have that person who will believe in you and kind of push you to believe in yourself. Yeah, yeah, it’s true, it, it, it puts a spotlight on you a little bit and makes you really think about, you know, you also obviously have to have a really good support system around you. I mean, I’m lucky, I’ve got an incredible husband and parents that live here. So, you know, without that aspect, it might have been a little bit more difficult for me to make a decision to take a new position where I’m required to fly a lot. Because I do have that support support system at home once I made up my mind, you know, and then I did the job. And I thought it was that’s a whole other podcast, Michelle, I the transitions between jobs. I did it wrong. So we’ll talk about that later. 

11:52 But I definitely as as I’ve got moved into different positions, I’ve, I haven’t always had the easiest transitions. So that’s what I love to help people with is through those transitions. 

12:05 And so a couple of things. Do you, I’m guessing based on kind of where we are at with the conversation, you still have mentors in your life? Oh, yeah, yeah, I

12:16 yeah, I, I love having mentees. Because I feel like I learned I get so much out of those relationships, that hopefully that they get from me, that’s not guaranteed. But I also seek out mentors all the time. I love to I like to look and see, okay, you know, I love what I’m doing for 510 years, you know, what would? What interests me? What skill sets do people have that I really admire that I want to learn? Because I think that will make me better. And I’ll look at people and I’ll watch them and see who’s masters in their craft. And I’ll reach out to them and say, I love how you answer that question. Or I really appreciate that strategy that you just rolled out and the, you know, the, 

13:06 you know, I want to learn from you. So anybody I’m, I’m obsessed with surrounding myself with people better than me. And so when I see somebody, I’ll reach out to them and say, Hey, I loved how you answered that question I saw you present. Love to understand who you are how you got to that point, because I really like to learn how to do that myself. I think, you know, mentoring can look a lot of different ways. And when we were at this meeting people were talking about like not really knowing what is to be expected. So if you’re starting relationships, I guess as the mentee or the mentor, whichever one or both whichever one you want to kind of speak to since you have done both, what are some, like best practices that you might give someone who’s just starting out? Yeah. Okay. So I think this is a great question. And I think that, you know, I’ve been lucky because I’ve been in a lot of different organizations, I think I’ve touched maybe six cardiovascular organizations. So I’ve been able to be around a lot of people, and which is great for me, because I seek mentorship all the time, and I’ve had access to some incredible leaders. So I think that it’s, I always think of it as starting backwards. Like why do you want to mentor? Are you looking for career advice? Are you looking, you know, to move from a commercial function into a marketing function? Are you looking to change operating units to understand a different cycle of a product, a medical device product? Are you looking to for just leadership or guidance? And I think when you work backwards and you really understand the why behind? Why do you want a mentor that helps to figure out who to reach out to, because I think it’s important to be specific. And you know, some people will call and say, Hey, I need I need a mentor, okay? I need to why, you know what, and what about me it like I want to make sure that your time is valuable if you’re reaching out to me that you want me to mentor you, you Unknown Speaker 15:00 You know it first of all, it doesn’t have to be so official, either. It can just be, you know, all reach out to people on LinkedIn or even in the organization say, Hey, I heard you on that podcast, that was amazing. Like, I just like to learn from you. And that’s not me officially saying, you know, making it superficial, like, will you be my mentor? It’s, it’s just something about them that inspired me that I want to learn from about them. So I think, you know, a couple of things, I think, understanding what you’re looking for, you know, if someone calls me, I want to know how I can I think we all want to help, but I want to understand, you know, how I can help. And like I said, there, everybody’s time is valuable. And I want to make sure that if I’m, if I’m giving, if they’re giving me a half an hour of their time, and asking me to mentor them, like, what specifically are we tackling? I also think it’s important to because everyone’s looking for a mentor. I think it’s important to be memorable. And I think that if you’re a mentor, you know, to your mentee who might have limited time and might have a lot of people seeking mentorship, I think, making it mutually beneficial, because I think mentors and mentees that, you know, like I said to you, I get as much, if not more out of my relationships with people that call me and ask me for advice. So I think that mutually beneficial, like if someone, someone that I mentor sends me these articles all the time on running, I love running, and they’ll be like, Hey, I saw your training for the marathon coming up in a couple of weeks. Here’s a great article. I’m like, oh, that’s special. So that makes you memorable, too, right? So mutually beneficial. Understanding the why, you know, be prepared when you’re talking to somebody to, especially if they’re in a position of influence, and you’re asking them to advocate for you make sure that your your conversations, they don’t need to be super structured or rigorous, but making sure that they’re, they’re a good use of both of your time. And it’s not just you know, talking about the weather, and what are you doing? And 

16:53 you know, so I think those are probably some of the important qualities that I would Unknown Speaker 17:00 I would articulate if you’re asking for a mentor. Yeah, I think that’s so great. I feel like that takes a lot of pressure off of people to not feel like it has to be when you say not so structured, like just reaching out, because I think sometimes people are afraid, especially at the levels of which you are at right to be reaching out and asking you, and they’re maybe intimidated, but maybe it came from a mindset of curiosity, and that mutually beneficial connection, it might not be so intimidating. Yeah, I agree with you. And I also think it’s important, you know, not to put all your eggs in one basket, have a bunch of people, you don’t need to just say I’ve got one mentor, I’ve reached out to people all the time. And again, I don’t make it. So it’s like we you, I just feel like, you know whether I read an article that they wrote, or I talked to somebody in their organization who said that they do something really special to recognize their people. You know, I reached like I said, I reach out to people all the time and say, I heard you did this, can we just have a discussion? Can I and then when we’re getting off the phone, we’ll say can I keep in touch with you, you’re someone that inspires me or someone that I can learn from Do you mind if, you know I call it pleasant persistence, if I keep in touch with you, or if I text you, and if you have time that we can informally connect about, you know how to how I can be the best version of myself as a leader. Oh, I love that so much. And I feel like it’s just being a normal human being right and wanting to help each other. It doesn’t have to be so because I’ve been involved in mentoring programs where it’s like, every six weeks, we’ll have a call for X amount of time. But if it’s just this, like, Hey, I’m gonna reach out, because on the flip side, I have mentors, like you said, reading books, podcasts, like they don’t even know they’re my mentor. Unknown Speaker 18:39 Yeah, yeah. What you’re saying as far as like reaching out to everyone and knowing your why, and knowing where you want to go, kind of leads us back to the question or the conversation about the lateral moves, because there might be opportunities to find those mentors in different areas. I remember when I first started with Medtronic, and I, you know, Google search the questions to ask on an interview, and you know, like, where, how do you get promoted of the, you know, career ladder? And they said, it’s not a ladder at Medtronic, it’s an umbrella because there are so many different opportunities for you here. So maybe can you speak like, if someone is listening? And you’re their mentor? Like, what would you tell them about the importance of being willing to take those lateral moves? Yeah, I am so passionate about this topic. Michelle, I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve given this advice. But I, again, it’s advice that worked for me. Right. So it’s not going to work for everybody. But I do feel like a lot of conversations I have are around promotions, which is great. But I think that we should think about promotions in a different way. Sometimes because the promotions into certain levels are hard. There’s, you know, a million. The great thing about Medtronic is we have unbelievable people here, right? So for one promotion, there might be 30 candidates, and if you don’t get it, you start to think oh gosh, what’s wrong with me? Do Unknown Speaker 20:00 Why not have this skill set? No, you’re probably incredible. But you’re against 29 other incredible people. And you know, for whatever reason that person got the job. And I, I didn’t do this intentionally. But I have been a first line district manager in three different businesses. So I was in the pacemaker business at a previous company, I came here, I was a district manager in the cardiac surgery business. And then I moved to structural heart. And those to me, that, to me is a promotion because I moved from a mature business where I worked for a leader, you know, a certain type of leader, then I moved to cardiac surgery, which was a mature business, but I had to realign a team. So that they weren’t, they weren’t teammates, they were I had to realign them. So they were siloed individual contributors. So that was a great experience working in an operating unit, learning the cardiac surgery business. And then I moved over to transcatheter valves at, again, a lateral move, but I built a team from scratch. So all of these were a collection of experiences, working on different teams at a different point in time in a different business, where maybe we had falling average selling prices, or maybe we were about to launch a technology and I had to work with marketing, or maybe, you know, it’s just figuring out how to manage inventory in a business that was mature. So they were all such different experiences from a product cycle standpoint, from who I reported to. So I feel like I am a collection of all the leaders that I’ve ever worked for, and a little bit you know, a little bit about myself. But those experiences that I had, working in different operating units, working for different leaders, working with different teams, all helped to prepare me for the position that I’m in now. So to me, when I call it a lateral move across being a district manager and three different businesses, they were promotions in my mind. So I think that it’s important for people, if they’re in a job, and they’ve been doing it for a long time, and they keep looking for that promotion, start thinking about a lateral move. Because maybe you just need to dust off your brain a little bit. Maybe you need to work in a different business, maybe you need to work around different people. And I think that when you think like that, it opens the world up to a lot of different opportunities that you may not have thought of. Yeah, I feel like that idea of the promotion is kind of in line with the evolution of you as the leader, being able to get all of those skill sets and learn from those people and and having that happy. Kind of like sounds corny, but like a promotion in your life, right? Like how much does that expand you as a person? Yes. Yeah, completely. You just articulated in a much better way than I did. Michelle. Unknown Speaker 22:43 I love it. It’s so so good. Because I listen, the first time you talked about that. I’m like, I think she’s talking to me. Unknown Speaker 22:51 Like, every day, I think I talked to one person a day where I’m like, okay, promotions are great, but how are you? Unknown Speaker 22:59 Like, I look at it, it’s like, we’re just learning. We’re all here to learn. And, you know, I feel like when I stop learning, that’s when I get stagnant. And so, yeah, I could not agree more. I’m like, when we stop learning, I feel like we are in trouble. Because then we stop evolving. So that’s important. Yeah. Have we missed anything? This has been so helpful. Let’s see. Oh, I think you’re one of the questions was, I told you that it gives me oxygen to men. Yes. I love that. Yes. It’s, it’s my corny way of saying I love helping people. And I, you know, I saw a sign it was heading to Boston a couple years ago, and there was a sign that I took a picture of it it oh, it says, Call me crazy. But I like to see other people happy and succeeding. Life is a journey, not a competition. And I think about that all the time, like I should, we all can feel that way and be authentic, about that I really, I really love. I love listening to people’s stories. I love understanding where they want to go. And I like connecting them to people that are in my network, to help them get to where they want to go, then then i My job’s done, you know, once you tell me what you want to do, and I’ve helped and connected you, Unknown Speaker 24:10 you know, I love seeing the people that just knock the door down and have taken any advice or taken the connections and listen to them and learned and, you know, taken that next position or been able to figure out where they want to go and it just it brings it really fills my cup. That’s probably one of the things you know, especially as I get older, you just learn like that’s your legacy. You know, one day I’m going to be retired and I’m going to be so excited watching all these people that I’ve you know, hopefully been part of their, their career journey. move on and you know, obviously really, and I love I love that you use that quote because I will often see something similar about it not being a competition. I’m like, I don’t know I’m in sales. Should I actually like that because like we have to be competitive. So I love that you shared that I think it’s so important to recognize like Unknown Speaker 25:00 Helping others is so important. And I also think, like when you are retired and have your legacy and you think about the people in their positions that they helped, especially in this industry, think about the patients that have then been helped by that. Right. And their families. Yeah, I know, I couldn’t agree with you more, we have the most Unknown Speaker 25:19 passionate, excited, enthusiastic Salesforce in my organization. And I, you know, with the approval of simplicity spiral to be able to give them this catheter and this generator and for them to train their physicians on how to help all these patients with uncontrolled hypertension. I get teary eyed every time I think of it. She’s awesome. So Unknown Speaker 25:41 yeah, thank you so much. How can people is the best way to connect with you on LinkedIn? Yeah, yeah. LinkedIn is great. Yeah, typically email. I feel bad. I’ve I’ve definitely become one of those people that I used to get annoyed with. And like, why are they not answering my email? 

25:57 Like a little bit underwater lately. But yeah, LinkedIn is a great place to reach out to me. I feel like that’s been probably one of the more impactful tools that I’ve been able to use and connect with people. Perfect. They should start by sending their running articles as what I take away. Yeah. Yeah, I’m doing the St. Jude marathon.

26:15 Gotta get the December 2, one. Yeah. That’s Alexander my Christy Brown. One of talk about Gosh, mentoring and someone that is memorable. She’s She’s a great success story. It’s amazing. Yeah, she’s unbelievable. She’s pretty special. So and I think people can still so this will probably air after that. But I feel like they can still donate to St. Jude, even after the fact of the marathon. Correct? Yeah. Yep. Yeah, Chris Christie has she’s very active on social media. So she’s got some links for a rally Foundation, which her husband Matt is very involved in. And then the St. Jude Foundation, we have a running team, I think she’s got 50 people that are running down in Memphis. So it should be a really, really fun event. I’m excited. I can and it’s such an amazing cause. I will be doing it virtually. But I will be doing like a 5k I think we have a course. And I’m like, I’m gonna do it before our course that weekend. Because I do think it’s so important to raise awareness and to help. Help. Yeah, that there are special family. Thanks for doing that, Michelle. Absolutely. All right. Thank you so much for being here. Yeah, thank you. Okay, wasn’t that great. My takeaways are number one, go for it. Don’t be so worried about people being in higher positions. Bring your requests with the following number one, know your what and your why, what do you want to accomplish from this relationship? And why is this one specifically important to you? Number two, how can you bring value and number three? Where can you find curiosity and what they have to offer and as a side note, extra value add to the conversation. Again, be open to lateral moves. So many gems in this I really hope you found something that works for you. Okay, friends, that’s what I have for you today. Let’s meet back here for the next episode. But for now, make it a great day. Take care 

28:21 Did you know you can take this work to a deeper level with me one on one. Go to and click on get started to begin

Showing 4 comments
  • Lauren Brown

    This was an awesome interview!! Thank you Michelle and Carla!

    • Michelle A. Bourque

      Thanks for listening – Carla is an amazing guest!

  • Indraneel Sinha

    Loved the podcast. So much to learn and implement as well. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Indraneel, Marketing Lead RDN India

    • Michelle A. Bourque

      Thank you for taking the time to listen!

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