Kim (center in black with red scarf) with her team last year during the holidays.
Today on our blog, we’re excited to continue our Audiologist Spotlight series by featuring Kim Smuda, Director of Audiology Support. Prior to her role at Starkey, Kim was Director of Audiology, as well as a clinical professor, at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
What is your background (education, training, etc.)?
I am the Director of Audiology Support on our customer relations team. I have a team of 25 amazing colleagues who I am privileged to work with each day. The audiology support team assists with any product-related questions from the field or production.
How did you get your start in the hearing aid industry?
Starkey was my first home in manufacturing. My family was looking to move home to Minnesota and I saw manager of audiology position at Starkey. I currently was Director of Audiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a clinical professor. I wanted to stay in a leadership role that involved working with patients, teaching and managing a team. This was the perfect fit. I was so impressed with the culture of Starkey; I was immediately hooked!
What are your main job duties?
There is no such thing as a typical day in my world! It is one of the things I love about my job. I have the opportunity to work with customers, support patients in the field and assist in elevated product-related issues. I also have the opportunity to teach and sit on collaborative cross-departmental teams that work on solving current issues in the field and shaping future products. Every day is exciting and amazing!
What has been your most memorable moment at Starkey?
I launch a Post Release Snapshot Report targeted to collect immediate feedback from our customer-facing teams after each release. This report is now a crucial component of leadership review in multiple departments at Starkey. At Starkey, we listen to what our customers have to say. We want to meet the needs of you and your patients!
What's the most exciting part of your job?
How do you address the challenges you face on the job?
When I am working with a customer who is not happy with us, this is always a challenge. I accept these challenges and make it my mission to prove to them that we deserve their business, and I create a plan to earn it back.
What advice do you have for students who are interested in the hearing industry?
Be a sponge! The more you know about everything, the more appealing you are to a manufacturer. Think about knowledge in two ways: how you would convey it to a consumer and how you would convey it to a colleague. They are very different approaches at times and it is critical to understand the difference and be able to articulate your way through either conversation!
What do you like to do outside of work?
I have two children and one on the way. My 6 year old is a first year mite in hockey. They take hockey very seriously here in Minnesota! We practice or have games three times a week. His games can also be over an hour away. A little crazy, but he loves it!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
We are always looking for amazing new talent at Starkey! Keep us in mind if you are ever interested in joining the Starkey team!