Finding your passion

Michelle Kochan, a senior biopharmaceutical representative, tells the story of how she found her career and her identity. She reveals the path she took, that made her the successful woman she is today.

As most stories begin, Michelle was an intelligent college student, eager to grow up and move on from school. She was studying with a business major at the University of Pittsburgh. She didn’t know exactly what she wanted to become, but she knew she wanted “to have a job where I worked with people and not just sat behind a desk.” So, at first glance, Michelle was very similar to a lot of her classmates.

One day, Michelle’s friend started working as a pharmaceutical rep., and when she explained what exactly the job encompassed, Michelle had the classic ‘ah-ha’ moment. So, in the matter of minutes, Michelle wasn’t just any old student at Pitt, she was a woman who had found her passion. When she was asked why she wanted to go into that field, she responded, “It just screamed ‘this is so me’”.

Many people spend half of their lives searching for something they are passionate about. But even when some people find their calling, they eventually grow out of it as they mature and age. When Michelle was asked if she would change her career now, almost 25 years after she started, she said her career gives her a sense of purpose and identity that she wouldn’t trade for the world.

As Michelle began her very first day of work, not even realizing that this is what she would be doing 20 years later, she said she was overwhelmingly accomplished and satisfied with herself. Although she might have had different plans for herself growing up, none of it mattered anymore as she had discovered her passion and identity.
She explained that the best part of her job is the self-worth that comes with helping others and spreading goodness on an everyday basis.

Reflecting on her own story, Michelle stated, “I will now wake up everyday with a sense of purpose. Everyone needs sense of purpose to function daily. For some it’s just to get Starbucks coffee, and that is great for them, for me it was a purpose to help others.”