After graduating from the University with a major in psychology and a minor in business administration, Welch moved back to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he worked as an account executive for a small firm in the information and technology services industry.

“The experience that I gained from working in a small company inspired me to learn more and see all sides of the business. As a result, I knew getting my MBA was in my long-term plan,” he said.  Welch decided on the University of Richmond because of his positive undergraduate experience in conjunction with the reputation of The Richmond MBA program.

Welch, who served as MBA Leadership Council president in 2009 through 2010, also got involved in the Executive Advisory Council (EAC) Mentoring Program.  Through the EAC, Welch was paired with Peter Bernard, Chief Operating Officer of Bon Secours Virginia.

“Through meetings with [Bernard], I learned more about the healthcare industry, and he put me in contact with other people in the organization,” said Welch.  In May 2009, Welch landed an internship in the finance department at Bon Secours. 

In his internship, Welch supported various projects by doing financial analysis work, researching potential new services and determining what the impact of these services would mean for Bon Secours’ operations. 

The scope of Welch’s internship helped fuel his interest in the healthcare field.  During a guest panel discussion in Roger Schnorbus’ strategic management class, Welch was introduced to Mark Van Sumeren, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development for Owens & Minor (OM).  After class, Welch approached Van Sumeren about doing a capstone project with his organization.

Welch said, “I just floated the idea to [Van Sumeren], and he was very receptive to it.  He told me to get in contact with him, and he would set up a meeting with a couple of his employees and himself.”

According to Welch, the core question of his capstone was: what is the value differentiator between using a manufacturer direct purchasing model versus a distribution model.

The relationship between Owens & Minor and Bon Secours has allowed Welch to explore his personal interest in the question being posed and also to gain access to key company officials necessary for his research.

Essentially, Welch set out to explore what the benefit is to Bon Secours to use a distributor like OM to provide necessary medical equipment and supplies, as opposed to ordering the materials directly from a manufacturer.

Van Sumeren was very pleased with the outcome of Welch’s project, and he values the partnership OM has with the Robins School.  He said, “[Welch] is an impressive young man, with a strong career ahead of him. We remain impressed with the quality of the students and faculty, as well as their work products. Our relationship with the Robins School has been a key part of our company's strategic planning and execution processes.”

In May of this year, Welch was hired as a Strategic Financial Analyst for Bon Secours.  He continues to stay plugged into campus by making valuable connections through the MBA Alumni Society.