Phonak Faces of Audiology: Five Minutes with Bradley Stephenson, New Ventures Manager at Phonak HQ
AudiologyOnline: Brad, you have recently moved into an exciting new role at Phonak HQ as New Ventures Manager. Can you tell us a bit more about this role?
Bradley Stephenson, AuD: Sure. This is a strategic new role within marketing, where I am responsible for defining new business ventures at headquarters. This includes engaging in market research, developing internal solution work streams and collaborating on new topics with thought leaders in the industry. Right now, I am contributing to the development of a holistic solution for an often-untreated symptom of hearing loss.
AudiologyOnline: You started your career in audiology more than 20 years ago. Why was audiology the right choice for you?
Bradley Stephenson, AuD: I first considered a career in audiology in my undergrad through my then girlfriend who is now my wife, as she was interested in speech pathology. I think the trigger moment for me was when I learned that I could work in a profession where I could help people in an impactful way – and working with “sound” was also appealing to me since I’m a bit of an audiophile. Those two factors together made it an easy decision.
Over the years, I have had the chance to work as a clinical audiologist in a hospital, in my own practice, in sales, as a product manager, and today in my current role at Phonak. I have truly enjoyed all of these positions, and I have always seen the “why” behind the profession.
AudiologyOnline: As one of the advantages of working on the manufacturer side, you mention that you can help even more people this way. Can you explain this?
Bradley Stephenson, AuD: As a clinician, one of the things I enjoyed most was listening to each of my patients and trying to find the right solution for the best outcomes. I think it’s interesting what you can learn from people if you really take the time to listen. However, it was always only one patient I could help at a time.
Working on the manufacturer side now, I am really driven to use my role at Phonak to help practicing clinicians do a better job in their daily practice. In this way, I feel that I can help even more people with hearing loss.
AudiologyOnline: In which moments do you personally appreciate the gift of hearing most?
Bradley Stephenson, AuD: For me, there is nothing better than just sitting back and listening to music. I love the sound of music. I love the way music makes me feel. I love the creativity. I just like everything about it. Unfortunately, I am a horrible singer. I did take lessons, but it didn’t have a big impact. But this did not stop me from getting my own karaoke machine at home…(laughs).
AudiologyOnline: Through the Faces of Audiology campaign we have learned that you are a passionate tennis player…
Bradley Stephenson, AuD: Even though I only started playing tennis as an adult, it has become a passion for me. When I started taking tennis lessons, I learned that there were three factors that impact racquet swing: pathway, speed, and angle. My coach’s advice was to focus on improving one factor at a time. I followed this advice and it served me well on the court
Years later, I had a similar approach with my team and projects at Phonak - I encourage focusing on one deliverable at a time (the one which has the biggest impact) and ensuring it is well done before moving on. I have learned that accomplishing single successes in the right direction, delivers significant benefit over time.
Learn more about Brad's career, his learnings, and passions: https://audiologyblog.phonakpro.com/faces-of-audiology/bradley-stephenson/