Name: Cal St. Denis
Class Year: 2008
Title: Global Director, Environmental Sustainability MedTech
Organization Name: Johnson & Johnson
1. In one sentence, what does your job entail?
I help to set the 2030 J&J MedTech sustainable products and packaging strategy while developing key goals and metrics for organizational alignment, business integration, global customer collaboration and critical executive stakeholder support.
2. What planned and unplanned events connected you to your industry and your first employer after Holy Cross? How did you learn/decide it was a good fit for you?
Dr. Michael Hallisey, an Interventional Radiologist at Hartford Hospital, a devoted alum and a good friend, reached out to the 3 Pre-Meds on our ice hockey team to gauge our interest in a summer internship. I politely declined, citing more interest in the business of healthcare versus the clinical side of medicine. He continued to support my journey and went out of his way to introduce me to friends of his in Pharma, Biotech, and MedTech. From there, I began a networking journey throughout senior spring, introducing myself to as many folks as I could and seeking every opportunity to meet new people in the industry. I have always appreciated having a career knowing that my products and the solutions I offer can help patients retore their health and wellbeing.
3. What were you involved in when you were on campus?
I was a 4 year member of the Men’s Ice Hockey team and a Bio-PreMed major. While I have always appreciated the need to give back to the communities that I have lived, my academic and athletic schedule didn’t afford me the opportunity to join any on-campus volunteer programs. So in my sophomore year, I created Crusaders for Kids, a program built around men’s ice hockey and men’s basketball’s busy schedules that worked with Grafton Elementary school inner city students. The kids were identified by the school principal as lacking male role models (due to incarceration or single family households) and our goal was to bring these young men out to watch Crusaders athletic events on campus, have movie nights in Blackstone, or play basketball on the campus courts and just be kids. We knew it was a success when the kids would have contests for who could be the last dropped off in our shuttle vans after the events were over! Upon graduation, the program was recognized by the college and the NCAA in ways I could never have imagined, but the best part of all was that it was adopted by underclassmen and lived on as a legacy for years later.
4. What was your major and how did it affect your career decisions?
I was a Bio major with a Pre-Medical concentration. I knew early on that the clinical side of Medicine was not for me but the challenge of Pre-Med intrigued me, so I stayed the course. I always appreciated that people get hurt and need to recover or people get sick and need to heal. So healthcare was always going to be my focus out of undergrad.
5. What are one or two skills that you developed at Holy Cross that you use in your work?
Listening with intent. I pride myself on listening to my teams, my customers, my leadership and others around me. It helps me make informed decisions and educates me on what others are feeling and experiencing.
Emotional intelligence. I went on to study EI further in graduate school and feel strongly that social awareness and bringing the best out of people has profound effects on productivity and camaraderie. Holy Cross helped shape this skill and made me aware of the importance of leveraging it.
6. What advice do you have for students on campus today?
Enjoy. Every. Second. Every midterm, every lab, every experiment, every home game, every final can feel stressful but they prepare you for the curve balls of life. Enjoy them. I truly believe that a Holy Cross education, the rigors of late nights in Dinand and the laughs with friends on Caro Street, helps define who you become as a person, a friend, a parent, a colleague, an alum. When I asked Dr. Hallisey what I could do to thank him for his support back in 2008, he shared with me the most profound advice – “Just do your part when it’s your turn to give back”.