How I Chose My Career in Sales #MyCareerStoryMonday

Name: Anna Grimalyak

Class Year:  Senior

Major: Professional Sales and LSM: Health and Industry

Position: LED Product Marketing Intern/Product Marketing Specialist EC/LED

Company: LEDVANCE

When I came back from studying abroad, I was in the process of looking for an internship. As I spent time looking online searching for an internship, I stumbled upon an opening at LEDVANCE for a Product Marketing Co-Op. I’ve known of the company ever since I was young. My mother has worked for LEDVANCE for almost my entire life, so I’ve known about the company’s history for quite some time. When I first started, I didn’t know anything about the lighting industry and knew very little about lightbulbs. Now that I’ve been with the company for close to a year, I can definitely say I’ve learned a lot about lightbulbs, the industry, and myself professionally. For close to a year I’ve worked in the LED Product Marketing group and see how hard they work to make sure that not only the individual product managers are successful, but the company is as well. I’m excited to announce that I have accepted a full-time position with the company working as a Product Marketing Specialist EC/LED.

When I came into college, I knew that I wanted to work for a consumer goods company. Although I am majoring in sales, I wanted to work in a position where there was a healthy balance of sales, marketing, and management. Luckily, this position is able to hone in on all three areas of business all in one position. In this position, it is extremely important to understand that anything can happen at any moment and that you need to be adaptable to a new challenge at hand. I love working for this industry because of all the innovation happening with lighting; although it may seem like there isn’t much to a light bulb, they are very complex and technical products. I love that every day I come into work I learn something new.

I think the most rewarding this is being able to see all the behind the scenes of what goes into launching a product. As a consumer, I never think twice to how much work goes into launching something. It definitely has opened my eyes and makes me more appreciative of other consumer goods. Conversely, because the nature of the job is so unpredictable it can be frustrating putting a project on hold or cancelling it after months of preparing to launch something. Anything can change in a heartbeat, but it definitely keeps me on my toes.

The best advice I have for anyone considering a similar career path is to be prepared for anything. A project that you’ve been working on for months could get cancelled, or some new legislation may come which affects every product. If you are creative in coming up with solutions, adaptable to new challenges, and are comfortable working across departments with all sorts of people, then this could be a good fit for you!

As for courses here at Bentley, I recommend taking courses that are outside of your comfort zone. For example, even though I’m a Professional Sales major, I’ve taken management and marketing electives to help gain a better perspective. By doing so, I was able to bring more to the table because I have an understanding of how other business functions work and am able to apply what I learned to the work I do.

Lastly, I think that two very important people who have helped me to get to where I am today are Professor Pouliopoulos and Colleen Murphy of Undergraduate Career Services. Without their help, I would never have majored in sales and found the success that I have. Without their guidance, patience, and support I would not be the professional I am today, and for that I am extremely grateful. For those of you that do not know them, take the time to get to know them! They are extremely valuable resources and even if they are not your professor/advisors. Thanks Pouli and Colleen!!

By Caroline Gervais
Caroline Gervais Student Director, CareerEdge & Event Planning Team Caroline Gervais