Q: Where did you start at Glidewell Laboratories, and where are you now?
A: I started as a receptionist and within my first year I became a Customer Service Rep. With that I was able to learn all the different product lines and start talking to doctors about specific cases in the lab. From there I was promoted to a Technical Advisor (TA). In the TA position, you help specific patients and try to get to the bottom of what exactly the doctor is asking for. It requires talking more specifically about things like tooth shade, clearance, anatomy and things like that. Then I started traveling for Glidewell to the different dental conventions all around the U.S. as part of the Glidewell Direct sales team. It was really nice being able to communicate face to face with some of the doctors I had worked with for a long time. From there I went to the Thermoforming department as its Call Center Manager. In that role I did everything I was already doing as a TA, but also started managing the call center. As a call center we deal with doctors day in and day out, but we also deal with the production line and how the cases flow through the lab. Then I got the opportunity to run a second call center. Before long I was running four of the lab’s nine call centers and working with 65 employees who reported to me. In March 2016, I was promoted to Director of Customer Experience in the Customer Service department. Honestly, I love it! It really brings me joy to talk to our doctors. I’m a problem-solver. I love to look at the cases and see what I can do to help the patients and better their lives. Even when I get upset customers, there’s gratification in being the one who resolves their issues for them.
Q: What advice do you have for someone new to the company?
A: Learn everything that you possibly can and embrace the opportunities that are thrown at you because the opportunities for growth are endless here. So learn as much as you can and invest the time and the energy to get to where you want to be. If you try something and you don’t like it, that’s OK, try something else! But give it your 100 percent before you’re willing to switch into a new career path. Also, make an effort to get to know the culture of the company, what our vision is, and what we’re trying to achieve. Once you understand that, you’ll probably know where in the lab you want to go.
Q: Why have you stayed at Glidewell all these years?
A: I will never leave Glidewell. I’m a lifer! I started at Glidewell Laboratories right after college. I was 20 years old. I kind of ran into the opportunity by accident, through a friend of mine. At the time Glidewell only had about 65 employees. For me, the experience of watching the company grow from 65 employees to the more than 4,000 that we are today was an amazing experience in itself. The opportunities that have been brought my way all these years enabled me to progress my own career. Now that I’m a manager, I’m able to help other people progress their careers. So I love my job. I wake up every morning and I am so excited to come to work here. I think a lot of the employees feel the same way. I also love the people I work with. I wouldn’t have gotten this far in my career or been able to manage multiple call centers if I didn’t have key people in place along the way. Those people are very supportive of me and I of them, so it goes both ways. This is my family. Some of the executives have seen me grow up here. Mr. Glidewell himself has seen me grow up here. I have no reason to leave. My son even works here! But my favorite part about working here is helping people. Every day I am able to help not only my employees, but also the patients, the dentists. It’s very gratifying at the end of each day knowing that I made a difference in somebody’s life.
Q: Would you say there are opportunities for career growth at Glidewell?
A: Glidewell isn’t just a place of dental experience; it’s a place of opportunity. I’m living proof that there’s a ton of opportunity here. I’ve seen people come from the Shipping department, the Scheduling department, and I’ve seen their careers just take off. Some of those people are in management positions now. There are constant opportunities for people to try out one area of the laboratory, learn what they want to learn there and then pursue a career elsewhere in the lab. There are always different paths to take depending on what someone wants to do. When I interview people, I often hear that they live far away and they’re not sure they want to commute. But Glidewell offers carpool programs, incentives for people to rideshare. We also have other labs nearby where other opportunities exist. Now we even have home agents in our Customer Service department, if the 8 to 5 thing doesn’t work for someone. There are so many opportunities here.
Q: Do you need a dental background to work at Glidewell?
A: Not having a dental background is perfectly OK! Somebody can start in Shipping & Receiving, Scheduling, Research & Development even. Depending on what area in the lab you have an interest in, you don’t necessarily need to have dental experience to get hired. For example, our Customer Service Representatives are required to have very little if any dental experience. It’s not one of the things we’re particularly looking for. You can teach people dental knowledge and the basics of dentistry, but you can’t teach people how to do well on the phones and communicate effectively.