One of My Best Decisions
Lori Bellino BS'11
“I can honestly say that being involved in Global Sales Workshop was one of the best decisions I have made in my college career."
To be honest, I wasn’t completely sure what a career in sales would entail before joining the Global Sales Workshop at the beginning of sophomore year. I believed the common misconception that sales involved cold-calling on customers and getting rejected 99 percent of the time. However, I quickly learned that it couldn’t be more wrong. After hearing many of the Workshop’s sponsors share their experiences with us, I realized that sales went far beyond just selling products to customers. I came to love the thought of being challenged to build and develop relationships with retailers, becoming strategic partners with them.
During the summer I had the opportunity to work with one of our sponsors, Procter & Gamble, as the Oral Care intern on the Wal-Mart team. I worked closely with Wal-Mart to find ways our P&G brands could build their business, increase market share, and improve consumers' lives. I constantly analyzed data in order to develop strategic concepts to present to the buyers at Wal-Mart. I was given a number of different projects, such as: recommending merchandising strategies, analyzing competing brands, testing new messaging with the customer, and launching new item initiatives. My background in marketing and the leadership positions I held in Global Sales helped me demonstrate creativity, innovation, and initiative on my projects.
Being in charge of millions of dollars and calling on the world’s largest retailer can be intimidating to a college student unless you have had practice. Workshop-sponsored activities such as sales competitions, golf outings and etiquette dinners gave me knowledge and practice I relied on during my internship. When presenting my strategies for P&G to the Wal-Mart buyer, the training on persuasive questioning that I received from some of our best students and faculty proved invaluable. Tips on how to swing a golf club or which direction to pass the bread paid off when networking with P&G’s Leadership Team.
The Workshop offers students a number of different development opportunities to make us more well-rounded and ready to tackle any situation we may be faced with in the business world. It has given me the confidence and skills I need to be successful. I can honestly say that being involved in Global Sales Workshop was one of the best decisions I have made in my college career.