Samantha Lane lives by her Outlook calendar.
That’s because her days are packed to the brim. She’s spearheading a new division at Stryker Performance Solutions, a major biomedical device corporation. She volunteers her time on a young professionals board at Clearbrook, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities. She sits on the University of Iowa Alumni Board of Directors.
She does take off to Cozumel, Mexico every long weekend and holiday she can. Those trips are hardly vacations, though; they’re an opportunity to grow her very own charter fishing and scuba-diving company, a business she launched in 2011.
Though her resume is chock-full of prestigious accomplishments, she said one of her proudest achievements was graduating from the University of Iowa.
“My top achievement is that I completed my engineering degree,” Lane said. “My second achievement is that I completed a marathon.”
Yes, she also runs marathons.
A competitive edge and a drive to succeed isn’t anything new for Lane. She was very involved with writing opportunities, engineering activities and honors extracurriculars in both high school and as an undergrad at Iowa.
Before graduating, Lane completed a seven-month co-op at the Cleveland Clinic in the Biomechanics and Orthopedics Research Laboratory in conjunction with the NASA Glenn Research Facility. Two weeks after she graduated in 2005, Lane packed up to start her new job as an engineer with Stryker’s orthopedic division.
A couple of years into her career, Lane knew she wanted to earn her masters in business administration. Representatives from the UI Tippie College of Business contacted Lane about going to a recruitment dinner in New York, not far from where she lived. She said she walked into the Bobby Flay restaurant hoping to score a free meal, and walked out with a full scholarship to attend business school full-time back at Iowa.
During business school, Kraft Foods recruited Lane for its finance division. Lane said the transition from engineering to business was natural because she knew how to find solutions.
About the time Lane was looking to make another move in July 2012, Stryker was starting up a new division in Chicago. They needed someone with both management and orthopedic engineering experience. Lane fit the bill, and has been growing the contracts department ever since.
“The thing that I like about Stryker is that no day is typical. I came back because Stryker keeps things exciting,” she said.
Lane plans to keep climbing the corporate ladder, and she attributes much of her success thus far to her UI undergraduate biomedical engineering degree.
“Engineering is tough, but there’s a reason it’s tough. If everybody could do it, they would. There’s nothing you can’t do with an engineering degree,” Lane said. “All of the opportunities I’ve had have come out of my degree.”