Where are you working?
- I am an Account Manager at Gartner in Fort Myers, FL. (Gartner, Inc. is a global research and advisory firm providing insights, advice, and tools for leaders in IT, finance, HR, customer service and support, legal and compliance, marketing, sales, and supply chain functions across the world, and a member of the S&P 500.)
How did you get your job?
- I was introduced to Gartner through the FIU Sales Society as a corporate sponsor. I kept being persistent when the campus recruiter was at FIU, always showing face and expressing interest. I thank the Business Career Management office for helping me sharpen my interview skills to prepare for these interviews. I started as an intern in May 2018, and when I exceeded my metrics, I was offered a full-time job as an account manager to start in January 2019, after I graduated.
What’s been the coolest thing about your job so far?
- Celebrating, alongside the team that I am shadowing, the members that have reached Gartner’s Winners Circle. Winner’s Circle is Gartner’s all-expenses paid trip for each top sales performer of the year.
How does your job connect back to your coursework?
- With a sales background, you have to be courageous and conduct role plays. It’s not an easy thing, even if you do them with people that you are comfortable around. With most of the sales classes that FIU offers, role plays will be a required activity that you will have to do in your classes. DON’T BE AFRAID! You can conquer them, and you will learn so much about what you do great and what you need to tweak so you can turn those “maybes” into a resounding “yes” when you try to close a deal.
Looking back at your time at FIU, what were the most challenging and most rewarding experiences?
- The most challenging experience I had was when I attended my first sales competition outside of FIU. NCSC (National Collegiate Sales Competition) was hosted at the University of Indiana where we competed with sales programs from schools all over the United States. We strategize for two months before the competition, and when we were at the competition, we did not sleep until 2 a.m. every night. I thank our coach Nicolo Alaimo for his dedication to the team and getting us to be ready for our role plays and presentations.
- The most rewarding experience at FIU was when I graduated with honors (Cum Laude). I originally started as an Accounting major, trying my best to follow my father’s footsteps, and could not pass the first classes you needed. Thinking I was a failure, my mom told me I needed to switch majors and I decided to give marketing a shot. After I switched, my GPA jumped from a 2.0 in the beginning of my collegiate career to a 3.51 when I graduated. I thank my professors, my mentors and all my executive board on the FIU Sales Society for pushing me to succeed and perform better than I did the day before.
What was your favorite class at FIU?
- Advanced Professional Selling with Dr. Nancy Rauseo. Though I wasn’t a Sales and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) certificate student, I was heavily involved with Sales when I took my CRM class with her. She helped me understand that sales WAS NOT just being a used car salesman. Sales is about building relationships and managing those relationships, which was a skill I didn’t even know I had until I took the Advanced Professional Selling Class.
What advice would you give to FIU students?
- Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. I don’t know how many times Professor Rafael Soltero had told me that, and I thought to myself, “This is such a corny saying! Why would I even listen to this?“ Behind the corny saying lies an underlying message: Don’t be afraid to volunteer in your classes, don’t be afraid to present in front of your peers, don’t be afraid to ask thought-provoking questions. You will shine brightly to your peers, managers and recruiters when you get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
What surprised you the most about your first job?
- How long their training program is! I have been in training since January, and every day I am learning a new skill or best practice, or role playing different types of calls I will be having with my potential clients. While doing that, I’m getting paid at target incomewhich includes commission, rather than just base salary. Gartner really cares about their new hires and does the most that they possibly can to make sure you are ready to hit the sales floor once you go live.
What advice do you have for students beginning the job search process?
- Join a student organization that aligns with what you want to do in the future. I would not have received my internship offer from Gartner that ultimately lead me to my dream job if it wasn’t for the FIU Sales Society. I would have never been exposed to the recruiter that was actively looking for qualified candidates or meet the hundreds of sales people that helped me with my academic and professional development journey.
For more information about training for careers in sales and FIU Business’s Global Sales Program, visit the website.