John C. Lauria, '95, president of Alumni Board

“Stryking” the Right Match: John Lauria Places Graduates at Stryker

Written by Katarzyna Ignatik

With the help of John Lauria, ’95, 27 Hillsdale graduates have been hired by Stryker, a Fortune 500 company specializing in medical technologies. “Hillsdale grads take care of Hillsdale grads,” Lauria says.

Stryker designs and innovates technologies such as spine replacements and joint implants, and also has a neurotechnologies department. In Lauria’s words, “Stryker’s goal is to make healthcare better and to improve the outcome of patients.” Lauria has been at the company for 23 years—ever since his graduation. He’s been placing Hillsdale graduates at the company for the past 18 years, at which time he started managing Stryker’s marketing department.

Hillsdale graduates have held a variety of positions in the company, from human resources to sales to corporate communications. It’s not just marketing majors who get in, either: there are some history majors now working for Stryker, too. “It’s talent-based,” Lauria says. “We will give you the experience to round out the employee. A talented person can be successful in any role, if given the proper tools.” Lauria himself started out in a marketing role at Stryker and is now vice president of global business development—a position normally filled by lawyers, but one Lauria was promoted to for work well done.
At Hillsdale, Lauria majored in marketing and Spanish. He attended thanks to a football scholarship and played on a team with Hillsdale’s current dean of men, Aaron Petersen, ’96.

Friends since the third grade, Lauria and Petersen work together to place Hillsdale graduates at Stryker. “[Petersen] knows the profile of a Stryker person based on how he knows our culture, so he’ll identify students and send them to me,” Lauria says. Lauria also works with the College’s Career Services Office and continues to keep up with his other Hillsdale friends.
Because of his longstanding connection to the College, Lauria has watched it change over the decades. “Dr. Arnn and the faculty have done an incredible job with regard to increasing and improving the acceptance criteria,” Lauria says. “Students graduating now have a much broader scope of activities that they’ve been involved in. There’s been increased academic improvement and higher standards today because of Dr. Arnn.”

This improvement promises well for Hillsdale’s continued connection with Stryker. “I joke with Joanna Wiseley from Career Services that Hillsdale produces a great product—grade-A products that are employable in exceptional companies,” Lauria says with a laugh. “I thank the school for turning out exceptional students that have had a massive impact on the company I work for and love.”

Katarzyna IgnatikKatarzyna Ignatik, ’20, studies English. She strives to live optimistically and deeply, with a healthy sense of the hilarity of life. Katarzyna believes that the world should have more genuine community, witty conversation, and appreciation for pleasant little things like green grass and bread pudding.

This article was originally published in the Winter 2019 edition of Hillsdale: The Official Magazine of the Hillsdale College Alumni Association.