Unsure of what to do when you graduate? Take a sales job.
When I arrived at Hamilton, I was sure I wanted to be a Spanish major and psychology minor. This allowed me to spend my junior year abroad—an invaluable experience that taught me much more than just how to speak the language. I loved Hamilton’s open curriculum that gave me the opportunity to experiment with different classes like ballet, sculpture, sociology and economics. But when graduation rolled around, I had no clear path for what I wanted to do in the “real world.”
Knowing that I did not want to become a Spanish or English teacher abroad, I took my father’s advice and found an entry-level sales job, which he assured me would be a natural fit with my people-skills and also a great foundation for any job I’d want afterward. After all, most jobs, at their core, involve sales in some shape or form. Putting on my best Hamilton tour-guide smile, I went out into the world to find a sales job, unsure of what would come.
I ended up in software sales, cold-calling about 200 people per day, most of whom were not happy to hear from me. I quickly succeeded and honed my phone, communication, and negotiation skills. It wasn’t always fun and I didn’t stay there long, but it’s because of that job and what I learned there that I was able to then join the development team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and then Bombas, where I currently am the corporate sales manager.
I can’t say enough good things about my company, colleagues, or role — I truly love what I do and the people I work with, all while being able to help those in need. Bombas, founded in 2013, donates a pair of socks for every pair sold. Socks are the number one most requested item in homeless shelters, and we’ve been able to donate more than 25 million pairs to those in need.
I connect companies with meaningful high-quality gifts for employees, clients, and prospects, and help facilitate their community involvement and give back initiatives. But I was initially hesitant to transition back into sales. I originally applied for a different role in the company, but the hiring team was able to identify that my skill set and background was a perfect fit for the sales manager role.
Although I was initially skeptical of taking the sales job, I knew that I wanted to be at this amazing company and didn’t want to miss my chance. Six months later, I couldn’t be happier! Sometimes, you have to trust that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to; being open to opportunities shouldn’t be discredited, especially in the beginning of one’s career.
I’d like to think I’m a testament to the value of a liberal arts education—though I am not using Spanish or psychology in my day to day job. Hamilton taught me how to think, work, and communicate, which are transferable skills that I would not be successful without. It gave me the skills and confidence to take my first sales job and helped me to get my current job at Bombas.
I never expected to end up with a career in sales. I certainly didn’t expect to find it so fulfilling. The lessons learned at an entry-level sales job can set you up for success, no matter what path you end up taking. So if you’re like me and are a little lost senior year, not knowing what to do with the rest of your life, try an entry-level sales job. You never know where it might lead you.
*If you’re interested in trying out Bombas, I created the discount code Hamilton20 for 20% off your first order through the end of the year!*