How Max Roth discovered his inner leader

Contact: Amy Coughenour

KALAMAZOO, Mich. Senior Max Roth, from Commerce, Michigan, has been on a journey at Western Michigan University to discover his talents. Double majoring in sales and business marketing and leadership and business strategy, it’s the people he has met and the opportunities available that have helped him realize his fullest potential. 

Max Roth

What led me to the sales program initially was my love for working with others to reach a common goal. I enjoy connecting with people, but I wanted more of a team atmosphere as well which is what led me to leadership and business strategy, he says.

Throughout his time at WMU Haworth, Roth has been learning everything there is to know about his leadership styles and strengths.  

“What excites me most about the sales field is the human aspect of it,” he says. “My job is to connect my solutions to a client's needs. The challenges that come along with that involve building relationships and getting past the first ‘no’ or facing objections that I may encounter. Sales is unique because rejections are frequent. The people who persevere succeed.” 

Roth has been persevering through the lessons he’s learned, and it’s led him down a path toward success while also teaching him about his role as a professional 

The challenges our professors provide us encourage us to stretch our potential. I wouldn’t be as prepared to deal with any situation that arises as I am now without them,” he says. I now know how to work with short deadlines, vague descriptions, team members with different productivity styles and so many other realities of the business world.” 

Roth was able to showcase all that he has learned during the semester long, spring 2022, leadership and business strategy competition in his role as an analyst. All their hard work paid off when his team realized that they had won. 

“I had two strong student team leads who worked hand-in-hand with me and the rest of our analysts to craft a recommendation for a private equity company. Now, I am a team lead this semester going through the process from a managerial perspective! This experience was definitely a highlight as a business student. 

Recalling what stands out to him during his time at Western, it would have to be his final sales call with his mentor, Dr. Jim Eckert, associate professor of marketing. 

“It truly put into perspective how far I have come as a student and a professional, he says. “After needing to make many changes from the first half of the assignment, my partner and I spent two weeks applying critiques and trying to improve. I viewed old assignments again and looked at all my feedback in order to improve my performance. We ended up finishing strong and I was proud of how I came through in the end.”   

After graduation, Roth will be applying what he’s learned as a sales engineer at Cognex in Charlotte, North Carolina. 

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.