Tag Archives: Inspiration

How Sales Sold Me on Business

Flashback to 18 year old me: bright eyed, bushy tailed and hell-bent on pursuing a degree in psychology. Less than a year later, I was already disenchanted with that idea. When I began my undergraduate degree, I was convinced that a career in counselling was my passion. As a full-time first year student it was required that I select five courses and the first four were easy: Psychology, English, Philosophy and History. Politics became part of the mix through process of elimination – I was the least opposed to it as compared to any other option. By the end of first year, I had declared a major in Politics.

Upon reflection, it felt so necessary that I know exactly which path to pursue fresh from high school. Naturally, as an 18 year old I was fully equipped with all the necessary experience to reach some sort of informed decision about the direction of my life. Right? Wrong. In fact, fast forward to the end of my bachelor’s degree four years later: still bright eyed, still bushy tailed and absolutely certain that I was going to law school.

For about a year after completing my undergrad, I worked as a server in a local waterfront restaurant. Simultaneously, I studied for the LSAT and prepared several law school applications. Unfortunately (or, perhaps fortunately), my efforts were unsuccessful and now I found myself at a real crossroads. I felt slightly stagnant and that was uncomfortable. So, I began applying for different jobs in the hope that a career path would present itself. But, I was only applying for jobs that felt familiar or comfortable.

Looking back, my desire to grow and the action I took as a result – applying for “comfortable” jobs – were most certainly at odds. Luckily, the job I ultimately accepted was neither familiar nor comfortable.
About a year after completing my undergrad, I became an outside sales representative in the automotive and industrial sector. Let that sink in for a moment. Here was the girl who was going to counsel people for a living, and also the girl who was going to argue in courts of law for a living, and now she is cold calling on collision and mechanical repair shops and presenting products to customers? My life had definitely zigged and then zagged and then zigged again in the four years between ages 18 and 22. And you know what? Thank goodness for those zig zags.

Finally, I found my groove (well, at least for a short while). Let me tell you a bit about my daily responsibilities as a sales rep. The company I worked for has contracts with about 30 different manufacturers. I began by focusing on several of these product lines, and was directed to traverse the lower mainland stopping in at any business that might have a need. For the most part, these were automotive shops and supply stores, although once or twice I got creative and dropped by a winemaker’s store and a shipyard. At the beginning, before I had developed any sustained relationships with customers, I experienced many suspicious looks that culminated in “thanks, but no thanks” (and this was the nicest version of ‘no’ that I received). My repertoire of rejection only encouraged me, as this was a challenge I simply had to surmount. Eventually, with a little more experience and product knowledge, I was able to create a network. At this point, some sales calls were more akin to talking business with friends than trying not to sweat or blush as I nervously attempted to engage a new customer.

I cannot find the words to express how much fun I had with that first sales position. Nor can I find the words to express how much I learned, even in that very short span of time. Though, as much as I looked forward to work each day, another pinch of self-awareness was creeping up on me. I was experiencing the beginnings of a passion that would not have been possible at 18, or at 22. And I wanted to learn more! It began with a Professional Sales Certificate, completed through Langara College. Still, this was not enough. It was at this point I discovered the Master of Management program. I applied and this application process was very different from the law school application process. Yes, I still had to write a test (LSAT to GRE) and yes I still had to write some creative pieces as part of the application. But, I felt more certain, more committed, and definitely more passionate.

Following graduation, I want to work in a sales position once again. However, if there is one important lesson I have learned it’s that you really cannot ever be sure about where your personal path will lead. I know, very cliché. Also, I promise you, very true. So, craft a plan, follow a direction but always, always be open to the multitude of opportunities that are available. If you don’t feel sure, that’s ok – a little bit of uncertainty adds excitement. Capitalize on that uncertainty and allow it to open you to new experiences.

Stay healthy, my friends.

 

Written by Savana Caruk ’17

Don’t be a M.E.S.S: Meditate, Exercise, Snack, Sleep

How can I set a daily routine that allows me to feel and live better? The answer is M.E.S.S, a friendly reminder that we should routinely meditate, exercise, snack, and sleep.

MEDITATE: Meditation is an effective way to relax, relieve stress, and promote your personal well-being. It can include things such as relaxed yoga, personal reflection, prayer, and many other forms. Some practical times for meditation include:

Beginning of the day:

  • Prepare you for the upcoming events of the day
  • Allow you to focus on what is important
  • Re-align your thoughts with your purpose

End of the day:

  • Allow you to positively reflect on the events of the day
  • Rid your mind of stressful thoughts
  • Prepare your mind and body for a rejuvenating sleep

EXERCISE: The importance of exercise is old news. As stated by John F. Kennedy, “physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” With this in mind, we are most concerned about where, when, and how to exercise.

Where? Any location that fits your needs. If you have an open space in your house, a local gym, or a nearby field, then those are all great places to stay active. I would strongly recommend going outside where the locations and opportunities are endless.

When? Consistently. Add “exercise” to your daily agenda and stick to it. For me, I work out in the mornings. This helps me to feel vigilant all day and prevents me from fidgeting uncontrollably during long meetings.

How? Exercising can take many forms. My advice is to do something that you enjoy. Playing sports, walking your dog, hiking, and working out are all great ways to stay active. Exercise should not be a chore, it should be a time that you look forward to each day!

SNACK: Eating a healthy and consistent diet will make you feel physically better and enhance your mental awareness. Try to put emphasis on eating progressively throughout a day rather than sticking to 3 large meals. Fruit smoothies, vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and nut-mix are all great snacks to munch on throughout the day. And remember to stay hydrated to keep your mind vigilant throughout the workday!

SLEEP: Set a consistent sleep routine and stick to it. It is most important that you wake up at the same time each day (although going to bed at the same time is beneficial, this is not as important). Different people require different amounts of sleep, but 7-8 hours is safe for most people. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to nap. A 10-20 minute power nap is a great way to increase mental alertness and feel energized without the need for coffee.

Remember to not be a M.E.S.S. Try to establish a consistent 24-hour routine that incorporates meditation, at least 30 minutes of exercise, proper eating habits, and a sufficient amount of sleep. If you treat your mind and body well then they too will return the favour.

Stay healthy, my friends.

 

Written by Ben Magnuson, VP Health & Wellness ’17

Do You Know What You Really Want From Your Life?

“Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee, Philosopher, Martial Arts Instructor, Actor, Screenwriter, Producer

Whenever I hear the question “What is your main achievement?”, it always makes me reflect thoughtfully. I’m quite a self-rigorous individual, and I always try to set big goals. Although I have a lot of accomplishments I am proud of, I would like to share the story of a person who happened to change his life entirely.

About one and a half years ago, I landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport to have one of the happiest months in my life. I came to Canada to attend a short-term English Program at the University of Toronto, and that experience changed the way I looked at things. I met a lot of extraordinary people from all over the world, significantly improved my English proficiency, and developed a global perspective. I was a different person when I came back to Moscow, and although I was not completely sure of which path to choose, I was bound and determined to take the next step in my personal development journey.

At that time, I had a full-time job that was demanding and challenging enough to keep me engaged and motivated. However, I felt a strong desire to challenge myself even further and learn more. That was the reason why I started to consider pursuing a graduate degree in business.

At first glance, my decision to apply to the Master of Management Program seemed absolutely unrealistic. I was literally stunned with the huge amount of work I faced when beginning the application process. I had to considerably improve my proficiency in English. I had to spend months preparing for the GMAT – improving my quantitative as well as qualitative skills. I had to do a lot of other challenging things on my way to Sauder, but I never regret that. It was an experience that is worth getting through and that made me far stronger in every aspect of my life.

Today, I am happy and proud to be a student of unquestionably one of the most prestigious business schools in the world. This program has been transforming me since the very first day. It made me understand deeply what a real challenge and work looks and feels like. It let me collaborate with an amazingly diverse cohort of people from all around the world, and this experience fundamentally changed my understanding of things like commitment, reliability, teamwork, success, networking, personal and professional development.

Apart from the excellent business education, I learned to make the most of my inherent talent, interests, vision, and values. I still remember the first days of the program when we were frequently asked “What do you really want to do when you graduate?”. 90% of the class, including myself, could not confidently answer that question because we all came here to discover ourselves. Now, if you ask the same question, you will hear a completely different answer. And that is what this program is all about – answering questions that matter, and finding your own path to succeed and enjoy the journey we call life. I can confidently say that one of my greatest achievements is to be here, among these bright and intelligent people, and be a part of this experience. What about you? Are you ready to discover yourself?

– Jeremy Velichko