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Pearce Herchenrader, B.Eng. '14

(Electrical & Biomedical Engineering) | Finding the Intersection of Healthcare and Technology

While studying Electrical and Biomedical Engineering, Pearce Herchenrader knew he wanted to work at the intersection of health care and technology.

And today that’s exactly where he is – although he holds a job he hadn’t then heard of, in an industry he didn’t then know existed.

Pearce is a product manager for a healthcare data integration company. The company builds software that allows healthcare providers to share information across incompatible systems to improve clinical and administrative workflows.

As product manager, Pearce says his job demands “equal amounts business acumen and technical knowledge.”

“My role is to learn how our customers – and the market generally – use healthcare data, and then apply that knowledge to figure out overall product strategy and determine what features to build next,” says the 2014 graduate.

When new products are in development, he works with sales and marketing departments to position and sell the product to different types of customers.

“In any given week, I can go from meeting with a customer, to being in a software design meeting, to editing copy for the website,” says Herchenrader, noting that he relies on the ability to learn quickly and independently, which he honed while earning his engineering degree.

Late last year, he celebrated his first software release as a product manager.  Specifically aimed at large scale healthcare institutions, the new product will be installed in some of the largest care centres in the world.

He urges students to reach beyond their obvious qualifications when applying for jobs.

“My first role with this company was writing code, and my code writing skills were beginner at best. Luckily, because of my biomedical engineering background, they took a chance on me, and I was able to eventually move into my current product management role.”