Alumni Spotlight: September 2016
Carole Montepare has more than 30 years of progressively responsible experience in healthcare management. Prior to joining MVP Health Care, she served as Senior Vice President of Sales at CDPHP. During her career, she has held leadership roles with Group Health Incorporated (GHI), Kaiser Permanente and Community Health Plan (CHP). She currently leads a team of more than 100 members in sales and account management.
What led you to Maria College?
When I graduated from Catholic Central High School, Troy, NY, my mother wanted me to go to work but I wanted to get a college education. I was aware of Maria and it fit my needs. It also helped that I had two very good friends who enrolled with me (who have remained lifelong friends).
What do you remember most vividly about your time at Maria College?
I remember it being intimate and friendly, like a family and at the time, it was women only. In fact, I thought I’d like to attend a coed school so I left Maria after my first year to attend HVCC but three weeks later I was back at Maria. I missed my friends and small class sizes. I remember walking in the door on my first day back and one of the Sisters saw me and said “you want to come back here, don’t you?” That’s how friendly and intimate Maria was — the teachers and administrators knew you.
How did Maria prepare you for your next step?
Internships were key. The first one I had was with a doctor in Troy but was mostly clerical which I didn’t enjoy. Then I went to work for a pediatrician where I was performing clinical procedures like giving shots and taking blood pressure. I loved it and wanted to go into nursing but I had to go to work. From that experience, I learned what I didn’t want.
What would you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
Coaching and mentoring staff and then watching them grow and move up the ranks in the industry. Three members of my team who started as sales reps with me in previous companies are now management level at MVP. I also developed a training program — the first of its kind — and traveled around the country training sales teams. Finally as a mother of two boys growing up with me in this industry it helped me understand the importance of work life balance. They are now grown men and are making the same or better work life balance decision with their families.
What piece of advice would you give to our 2016 Maria graduates?
Find your passion and go for it. Nobody else is going to do it for you. You have to do it for yourself. Believe in yourself. Figure out a way to stand apart from the crowd. Be persistent. Take the time for more personal touches — phone calls instead of emails. I would also say that finding a mentor is important. John Baackes (former CEO of CHP) was and still is my mentor and a major influence on my career. He opened doors and provided many opportunities for me, including my first job in healthcare management. He believed in me and helped me to believe in myself.