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What is your full name, title, and company name for your current, primary role?
Julia Satoh, M.A., CCC-SLP – External Client Success Manager for Vibra Travels
Where are you located?
Where did you go to SLP school, and what year did you graduate?
I went to graduate school at Indiana University and graduated in 2018.
What did you do when you first finished school, and for how long?
My first job was at a regional hospital in Columbus, IN. I worked there for one year.
In what setting(s) did you work, and what types of patients did you treat?
For my first job, I split half my time in acute care and acute inpatient rehabilitation, and the other half in outpatient peds/adults!
I went to school for bilingual speech-language pathology (Spanish-English), so I also carried the bilingual pediatric caseload on the outpatient side.
For my second job, I worked on the Spinal Cord Injury Unit at an acute inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Most of my patients were being treated following MVAs or falls.
What did you enjoy about your early roles? What didn’t you enjoy?
I enjoyed the variety, the pace, and the ability to learn new things. I was always challenged with new and interesting cases, which really fed into my passion of life-long learning.
Unfortunately, working in the healthcare world often comes with weekend and holiday work commitments, difficulty obtaining PTO, and a cap on earning potential. I found it challenging to maintain a positive work-life balance, while also feeling as if I was not being rewarded for my hard work.
When and why did you decide to do something non-clinical?
I decided to officially leave my full-time clinical role in July of 2021 after discussing it extensively with family and friends. I knew it was time to take a leap (scary!) and take some time to figure out what I wanted to do next.
What are you doing these days?
In February of 2022, I started my role in HR as a Talent Acquisition Partner for a corporate travel staffing company in the healthcare space. Since then, I have been promoted to External Client Success Manager.
Are you still treating patients, or are you solely non-clinical?
I currently hold a PRN position at a SNF, but I only work there occasionally!
How did you find your client success manager job?
I found my current job through a connection on LinkedIn! Networking was a huge avenue for me during my time between jobs.
I found tremendous value in informational interviewing. It was a great way to learn about other careers through the eyes of people who are living them!
Did you do anything special to your resume and cover letter to land the job?
Redoing my resume was something that took a LOT of work. I focused on the transferrable skills that would be relevant to non-clinical roles I was applying to and really took the focus away from “SLP” skills.
I had a great mentor in the corporate world who took the time to look over my resume and provide feedback; that support was invaluable to me. Definitely lean on your network and see who is willing to help you out–you may be able to return that favor down the road!
There are mixed reviews on the relevance of cover letters these days, but a comment I received from the hiring manager at my company was about my tailored cover letter when applying! If you’re going to spend the time crafting a cover letter, make it specific and intentional. Let the company know that you have done your research on the company and explain why your experience would make you a good fit for that specific role.
How have people reacted to you leaving patient care?
In the beginning, most of my immediate circle was pretty surprised that I was leaving the clinical world without having a new career or job lined up.
After seeing the positive impact the switch has had on my life as a whole, as well as my happiness with my new career, the surprise has turned to genuine support and curiosity! It’s been great to be able to connect with other clinicians who are wanting to make a switch and share my story.
What’s a typical day or week in the life like for you as a client success manager?
I work completely remotely, so my days are spent on Zoom meetings, on the phone with potential candidates, and completing various administrative tasks.
What are some of the rewards of your role? What are the biggest challenges?
The biggest reward is definitely the job flexibility. As a remote worker, I can work from anywhere in the country. I also love that my earning potential is not capped! The harder I work, the more I earn.
Working from home can also have its challenges. One of my challenges has been setting work boundaries for myself. It can be easy to think, “I can just make one more call…,” or “Let me just respond to this one email…” It’s a work in progress!
How did your clinical background prepare you for being a client success manager?
In the clinical world, we are essentially sales people!
The skills I have learned over the years working closely with patients and their families, educating on the importance of each treatment or assessment, and encouraging patient buy-in, have prepared me extremely well for a world in recruiting.
We are also metric-focused, organized, and detail-oriented; these are all skills that lend themselves well to any other non-clinical role, especially in the corporate world.
What type of person do you think would do well in your role?
To be successful in this specific field/role, it’s best to be detail-oriented, outgoing, goal-driven, flexible, and able to move at a fast pace.
Does your organization hire PT, OT, or SLP professionals into non-clinical roles? If so, what type of roles?
Yes! The hiring managers look at candidates’ collective experience when hiring for different roles.
Since I was hired, my company has hired two more clinicians for talent acquisition roles! Our team now has 2 SLPs and 1 COTA. 🙂
Did you read any books, take any courses, or do anything special overall to get you where you are today?
I took a basic excel course on Coursera.
What is a typical career path for someone in your role?
I think this varies for everyone, which is the cool thing about this field. I started off as a Talent Acquisition Partner and transitioned into dealing with external clients, while a co-worker transitioned into role where she is managing people.
There are so many opportunities, but it comes down to what is most motivating or interesting to you!
What is next for you? What are your high-level career aspirations?
I’m excited to explore my responsibilities with my new role and I would love to continue to move upward into management roles. I love to lead and teach others, so a role in people management is something I could see myself doing in the future.
Do you have any special advice for others who want to become a client success manager?
My biggest piece of advice is to take the leap! It’s easy to give yourself 1,000 reasons why it might not work out and imposter syndrome is so real, but focus on everything you’ve accomplished and how that experience will be so invaluable for whatever you decide to do next.
Lean on your network and don’t be afraid to reach out to others and put yourself out there. I’m always available for informational interviews, so feel free to reach out!
Don’t forget, Non-Clinical 101 students can network with spotlight participants like Julia—directly in our alumni group! And client success is just one of the many career paths we cover in my flagship course 🙂