#IAmGalen: Sam Blakely, Associate Technical Consultant

#IAmGalen: Sam Blakely, Associate Technical Consultant

Sam-BlakelyWhat sort of work did you do in college?

While at Saint Michael’s I concentrated my studies on Mathematics and Computer Science, with minors in Economics and Environmental Science.  Outside of classes, I was part of a faculty-student research team solving network-optimization problems in order to create design plans for Self-Assembling DNA Nanostructures.  Following that research, I did some independent application development work for a company in Williston, VT, Pulmac International.  Then, the summer before my senior year I applied for a research grant from NASA to carry out an independent research project on Quantum Computing, looking into how to map search problems to be inputted into an Adiabatic Quantum Computer.   I was also a barista, Computer Science Lab TA, and Calculus/Probability/Linear Algebra Tutor.

What were you looking for during your job search? What made you choose Galen?

I was looking for a position where I could be a part of a community that is focused on learning, having fun, and working together for a worthy purpose.  In the case of Galen, we work together in a very tight knit, always helpful community that enables people across the country to get better healthcare service through medical technology.

What team did you join at Galen and what does that team do?

I work on Team Awesome (aka Technical Services), a recent incarnation upon the ascent of Taylor Mawyer to management.

Tell us about some cool work you’ve done in Technical Services aka “Team Awesome”…

I’ve been working to build the North Carolina Health Information Exchange.  The NCHIE is a centralized system to distribute healthcare information across the state of North Carolina.  The idea is that we extract data from hospitals, small private practices, pediatrics clinics, and everything else in between, and then create a data exchange so that health care providers may look up patient data anywhere in the state.  In other words, let’s say Joe breaks his leg two counties over and needs an operation—the NCHIE project could potentially save Joe’s life because it could inform the providers that he is highly allergic to a specific type of medication or anesthetic.  Healthcare is amazing because it is so full of special cases, and the work we do is to try to account for many of them and make it so people can receive the highest possible quality of care.

Galen’s culture is pretty unique – what’s your favorite aspect of it?

I really appreciate how open everyone is.  Within minutes of posting a question in a group discussion channel, you’ll have a multitude of answers.  It’s really awesome how much people enjoy sharing knowledge and experience with others.  On top of that, I like how everyone really likes beer.

What has been most unexpected about working here?

I’ve been most impressed/surprised by the extent to which Galen is able to blend professionalism and relaxedness—it is rare to find a group of people who are so dedicated to consistently excellent work and enjoying life at the same time.

What advice would you give graduating seniors interested in joining the Galen team?

Be comfortable, be a person that you’d want to be around.  Don’t try to fill someone’s expectations, but instead try to angle yourself so that you are truly excited about something.  Focus on learning, learning, and learning more.

Caught the Galen culture bug? Meet some other awesome Galeneers here

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