Career Moves: Elon Job Network leads to career in sales
Graduating senior Shakinah Simeona used the Elon Job Network in 2010 to nab an internship that has led her into a career in sales.
Shakinah Simeona wanted to do something two summers ago that would introduce her to possible careers outside of marketing, which she was already pursuing as an academic major. When an internship opened at a Chapel Hill, N.C., company that sells ad space in student planners, she jumped at the opportunity.
Now, the native of Long Island, N.Y., is about the embark on her first job post-Elon not in marketing, but in sales. The treasurer of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. and Multicultural Ambassador for the Office of Admissions moves to the nation's capital after Commencement to begin work with ADP.
Simeona is the latest person to be featured this year in a series of E-net profiles on the recent experiences of students and alumni who use the Student Professional Development Center to not only find job and internship openings, but to prepare for interviews and improve applications with guidance from Career Services staff.
She answered questions recently from the Office of University Communications.
Tell me about the company and your role as an intern.
The summer of 2010 I interned for a company called University Directories that was based out of Chapel Hill. As a marketing major I was looking for something that would allow me to get to know others and help me explore my major a little more. Boy, was I in for a treat! The position that I had this summer was an outside sales representative for University Directories as an Elon student. My job was to sell advertisements to surrounding Elon and Burlington businesses to be put in our student planners that are given out the beginning of every academic year. The company has been around since the 70s and has become one of the leading campus media marketing company in the United States. As the outside sales intern I earned more than $17,000 in sales and received 15 percent commission of this amount.
How did your interest in the internship develop?
My father is in sales and I never thought that I would follow in his footsteps. Being out in the field every day in the hot North Carolina summer selling advertisements taught me discipline, the art of creating relationships with businesses, and how sales is one of the most sought after and revenue driven professions. I now have a focus in sales along with my marketing degree and will be starting a sales position in the D.C area with ADP. I went through a series of interviews in January and was offered a position at the last interview. This internship singlehandedly changed my career focus and gave me more direction in life.
What did you learn from the experience?
After having this internship I realized that I have a deep passion for creating relationships with people. I am very driven by money and find a lucrative future in sales. The experience also taught me that I need to be very disciplined, organized, and more importantly self motivated.
Who did you work with in Career Services to prepare for your internship, and what help did you receive?
I found my internship through the Elon Job Network site and had resume and cover letter help from various professionals in the Center. Arli Eicher frequently informed me of various positions with different companies and was always there to offer advice and a smile. Ms. Brumbaugh offered interview advice and also opportunities to help in the Center.
How do you plan on using Career Services in the future?
The past couple of months I have been working with Ross Wade in the Student Professional Development Center in finding a job upon graduation in May. His keen networking skills and the help from Rhonda Kosusko with my mock interviews I actually landed a position with ADP as the associate district manager of Small Business Services in the D.C metropolitan area. In the future I definitely want to utilize them in helping students land jobs and internships with my company. I see such a benefit in the resources that they provide and want to help out as much as possible!
What recommendations would you share with other students about Career Services?
Be proactive! Nothing will simply fall in your lap. Taking the initiative to ensure your success is the best thing we can do as a student body. Also, visit the SPDC office and talk with everyone. They are always so friendly and willing to help you in any endeavor.