Part-time dog trainer, business philosophy buff, and…circus aerialist?
Yes, you read that right. When she’s not creating an amazing customer experience or curled up with a business guru’s manifesto, you can find Christine high above the ground, performing for one of a number of troupes in New York City, her adopted home.
WELL sat down with Christine to find out more about her background, her success strategy, and her essential reading list.
What’s your job description?
I’ll be leading the client success vertical, which includes our project management office, client support, and executive account management.
How did you get here?
I got my start working in healthcare: one of my first positions was at the Mayo Clinic’s emergency department, and I’ve worked at hospitals across the United States and around the world.
I did apply to medical school, but at the time, I was consulting for a small tech company. I was an expert on the National Diabetes Prevention Program, and I translated it into a community-based model. And I realized that, even though it was a powerful program, I wanted a way to deliver it using a mobile app—what’s now called a digital therapeutic.
Working with the company Noom, I created and deployed the very first product that the CDC recognized as preventing type 2 diabetes.
After consulting for awhile, I started working for MDLIVE—that’s really what prepared me for WELL. I spent about two and a half years building out post-sales processes, understanding the customer life cycle, being exposed to the C-suite at the biggest hospitals, and helping them understand how to use tech to introduce a new modality of care.
The thing I kept hearing throughout my career was “patient engagement.” That meant good communication was at the heart of healthcare’s biggest challenge.
And WELL was tackling the most critical challenge in the healthcare space; they really understood how this was going to improve patients’ lives. It was also the most comprehensive communication suite and the most seamlessly integrated into a variety of tools.
Then, for me, making a career choice is always about a combination of market opportunity and quality of the team, and I was very impressed by WELL’s team.
Where do you live?
In Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. I’d been living in New York City for seven years, and wanted to shift gears out of intense city life into something a little more relaxed. So I said to my partner, OK, I’ll recommit to New York on three conditions: I want a backyard, a dog, and a car.
Within 30 days, we took over the bottom floor of a brownstone in Brooklyn, I got a 100-pound Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and we bought a car.
What’s a typical day in the life?
I get up at 7:00 in the morning to exercise. Then I wrap up my workout and make coffee. I always do some professional development that involves reading something about the industry—like the Harvard Business Review—and I’ll do a 15-minute meditation.
Then I dive straight into work. The first thing I look at is my priority list for the next 90 days: what’s important, what’s urgent, what’s not important and not urgent. I’ll set my priorities for the day—if I have 3 goals, I’ll usually actually get 2 done. And I carve out some time for deep-thinking work. Carving out that time is vital to my success.
I break for dinner. Sometimes, there’s enough time for activities or hanging out with friends, and then I’ll log back in.
I accepted an executive role at a fast-growing company, so I’ve accepted that work is my primary focus. I made an intentional commitment to prioritize work.
Mucking out horse stalls. I was five years old, and from a young age, I had a really strong passion for horses. There was one barn in the city, so I rode my bicycle to the barn, and I told the owner that I wanted to muck out her stalls every day in exchange for one lesson per week. So I’d ride my bike there before the sun came up, and I’d muck out 30 horse stalls.
Data entry. It was completely mindless, meaningless work. It didn’t feel satisfying because there was no output.
Where can we find you when you’re not at WELL?
I’m a semi-professional circus performer—an aerialist. Then I spend time with my dog in Prospect Park, and I test ketogenic-friendly recipes. I love to find ways of making low-carb food tasty and delicious.
Do you have a motto or mantra that defines you?
“Order from chaos.” A lot of what I do is take a broad swathe of information overload and translate it into clear and consistent directives.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field?
First, find a specific area or industry you’re passionate about—something you could do naturally. For me, that’s healthcare. Second, find a functional area within that industry. I chose technology. Third, think about what you do easily and freely that’s hard for anyone else to do. What’s your superpower? Personally, I love interacting with people.
If you’re, say, a skier, it’s really unlikely that you’re ever going to be one of the best skiers in the world. But if you start to layer together that you’re, say, the best “healthcare technology people person,” the likelihood of getting to the top 5 percent of the market is much higher.
Make goals and voraciously attack them. Reach out to the people you admire in your field—be very proactive about making network connections. And read as much as you can.
Finally, when you’re first starting out, your level of enthusiasm is the only thing you have to contribute. If you can trade enthusiasm for knowledge and opportunities, that’s incredibly valuable. Instead of saying “I’m not qualified,” think about “How can I apply my energy, enthusiasm, and excitement to this?” ♥