The MedTech Conference By AdvaMed, As Experienced By MedTechVets Academy Graduates:

MedTechVets launched its first-ever virtual training and career mentorship program for eight transitioning service members and military veterans interested in the medical device field.  After completing the 6 week-long Academy, our graduating class of fellows were sponsored to attend The MedTech Conference by our partner, Advamed. The MedTech Conference is an annual summit that provides access to the world’s top medtech executives and innovators, educational programming, and business development opportunities. We chatted with three of our graduates to get an idea of how they experienced the conference, what their takeaways were, and how The Academy helped prepare them. 

Devin Owens

His background: Devin Owens started his military career after he went to a military high school, where he connected with an instructor who was a Naval pilot. He then went on to The Naval Academy where he ran track and studied physical science. Upon graduation, he attended flight school, but transitioned out of the Navy shortly after he sustained a medical condition. He told MedTechVets that when his roommate got a job at Johnson and Johnson, this piqued his interest in medical technology and its ability to improve people’s way of life.  As far as his long term goals, Devin is interested in understanding just how medical devices are being used in the operating room. He hopes to start his career as a Sales Representative for a medical device company and eventually manage his own team. From there, he wants to experience the product side and contribute to product engineering. 

How was your experience at The MedTech Conference and what are some major takeaways you gained from it? 

It was a great way to make connections with people who are already established specifically in Medical Technology, since that is my area of interest. It was an opportunity to make professional connections and it definitely widened my network of people to interview or shadow. The MedTech Color Breakfast was a favorite of mine. Another major standout talk for me was Kevin Lobo’s (from Stryker) session on Diversity in the MedTech space. It was refreshing to hear that at his level, there is a strong desire to address these issues, and ensure that interview panels are more diverse in all aspects. 

How do you think the MedTechVets Academy helped you put your best foot forward during The MedTech Conference?

The mentor I was paired with was great because he’s been at my target company for a decade. He was helpful with interview preparation and sharpening my networking skills. I really liked that the cohort I was in were all from diverse backgrounds and career interests. It was helpful to bounce ideas off of them with regards to what has been useful, or not useful for them in their career pursuits. Overall, Derek and Victoria have also been valuable resources for me because they’ve been connecting me with people who can add value to my network.

Bobby Reece

His background: Bobby Reece served eight years in the Navy as an engineer, then completed a Ph.D. in geophysics. He is currently an Associate Professor of Geophysics at Texas A&M University. Driven by his interest in healthcare and passion for helping people, he aims to transition into the Life Sciences field in Technical Sales or Sales Engineering, working on teams to achieve a common goal that will help communities around the world.

How was your experience at The MedTech Conference and what are some major takeaways you gained from it? 

The MedTechVets Meet and Greet was a really positive experience. Since many of the attendees are well established professionals in the industry, I made some great connections that are still moving along today. I also enjoyed hearing MedTech leaders talk to us about the types of technologies they’re pushing in healthcare. The MedTech Innovator was a cool sneak peak into the cutting edge developments in Medical Device Technology.

How did the MedTechVets Academy help you put your best foot forward during The MedTech Conference?

MedTechVets provided a great introduction to MedTech and Life Sciences companies, especially for someone completely new to the industry. During the Academy, my resume and LinkedIn profile went through many iterations of review and improvement. The coaching helped us to practice,  build the confidence to network, and gain meaningful connections at our target companies. Professional connections made available to us during the Academy and through the MedTech Conference have been key resources for support and network expansion, which hopefully increase potential for the right opportunity to aid in my career transition. 

David Samara

His background: David Samara’s background includes over 16 years in Cybersecurity/Information Technology operations in the U.S. Navy. The BioPharma and Medical Device community came into his awareness when he realized that members of his family were able to lead very capable lives because of the progress medical devices have made. As these devices become interwoven with the “internet of things” network, his goal is to utilize his cybersecurity background to protect the electronic information on these devices. 

How was your experience at The MedTech Conference and what are some major takeaways you gained from it? 

It was honestly amazing to see so many veterans and veteran sympathetic people who are interested in medical devices. They were really open to helping veterans find roles that best suit them and their skills. I think that with a field like this, since it is so based in physical devices and the physical world, it relates much better to what we learned and how we were trained in the military. There were a few sessions where I was able to connect with employees at medical technology companies, which was very valuable to me because it expanded my network. 

How did the MedTechVets Academy help you put your best foot forward during The MedTech Conference?

I would say the Job Search Master Class by Dana Manciagli was a wonderful part of the Academy. It really captured several different military transition seminars, and was an excellent resource. The class combined with the senior-level professional connections at The MedTech Conference was a great formula for the success of the MedTechVets Academy. 

Our Mission 

MedTechVets (formerly MVPvets) Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization connecting life science companies with talented veterans ready to serve a purpose, with a broad bandwidth of skills, and an extraordinary focus on achieving goals. MedTechVets’ network has grown to nearly 100 life science and medical device companies, hundreds of mentors, and thousands of veterans. For more information, visit MedTechVets is endorsed by the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).

If you’re a transitioning service member or military veteran interested in being matched with a mentor, apply today and we’ll get back to you shortly. 

If you’re in the biotechnology, medical technology, or life sciences industries and would like to give back to our veteran community by becoming a mentor, apply today. 

AdvaMed is the world’s largest medical technology trade association, representing more than 400 companies that produce the medical devices, diagnostic products and health information systems that are transforming health care through earlier disease detection, less invasive procedures and more effective treatments. AdvaMed members range from the largest to the smallest medical technology innovators and companies. For more information, visit



MedTechVets inspires veterans to consider a career in the medical device and life science industry, and learn more about the job functions and skills needed for a smooth transition.

Donate Now.

Your support will help sustain the free programs we provide to veterans seeking employment.