Current Job Title:
Retail Sales Specialist
Describe your current job:
I currently work as a sales representative visiting a variety of retail stores throughout Columbus and Cleveland, OH. I sell and build displays at store level, work to achieve full distribution of Abbott products, and build rapport with store managers. After 6 months in this position, I will leave the field, and work in the office on analytical and category management projects.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing when my efforts work. When I return to a store to find that one of my displays has been shopped or that new products I brought into the store are selling, I feel like I made real difference and impacted our business. The most challenging part of my job is negotiating with store managers. I must adapt to individual personalities in order to be successful, and ask probing questions to uncover opportunities.
What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?
The entire Food Marketing Program was integral to the success that I've experienced thus far in my career. The classes prepared me for real life situations, the professors helped shaped into a well-rounded, educated individual, and the Food Marketing Association opened me up to countless networking opportunities and exposure to a variety of companies. In addition, I worked at a local grocery store throughout college and interned with the Kroger Company of Michigan, where I was able to learn life and work skills outside of the classroom.
What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?
Gain experience as early as you can! I would not be near as confident talking to store managers as I am if it wasn't for my time working in store. I learned so much about the grocery industry by working just a basic job within it, and had a very easy transition into a full-time career because of it. Additionally, reach out to your professors and join a professional RSO. The relationships that I made in the Food Marketing Association with other students, professors, and employers not only enhanced my college experience, but my success after school as well.