Company: Insight Enterprises Inc.
Position: Corporate Account Manager
Employed: 7.5 years
Degree: Bachelors of Arts ÔÇô Honors Political Science, Public Administration, Public Policy
How did you find your current position?
I graduated from Bishop's University in 2004 and was fortunate to participate in their international exchange program with Deakin University in Australia. I guess I caught the travel bug so, upon graduating, took some time to work and live in Japan for a year. Upon returning to Montreal, I began prospecting to begin my career. I found an interesting job posting online and applied for the position of account executive with Insight. I thought a Fortune 500 technology company with a global presence? Sounds good to me!
What are you responsible for in your current position?
In my current role today, my main responsibility is to provide technology solutions to our corporate clients. I spend my day understanding business challenges: working with internal specialists and technology partners to solve these business pain points for my clients, consulting and offering the appropriate business technology solution. The most challenging part of my job is ensuring that I can do all of this to provide customized solutions to meet and exceed clients' expectations. At the core, this is a sales position that requires you to constantly build relationships and deliver on these expectations.
As I've progressed within the role, I have been fortunate to be able to go onsite to clients and speak with them face-to-face. This usually involves quarterly business reviews, project scoping, and opportunity generation with my team of specialists. I get to work with a variety of people on any given day at all levels, from the manager of IT to the CIO.
What is the most challenging aspect of your position?
Building communication skills and the ability to influence and persuade people is critical in this role. It also makes you realize that listening skills and presentation skills are a key part of improving your business acumen. Creativity is key in providing the ability to negotiate and navigate through corporate environments. Especially when working with larger clients, you really get exposed to complex business challenges and you are part of the solution. These skills and qualities help you win the confidence of the client and your peers.
Challenging yourself will continue to be a measuring stick of your success in this role. The role possesses a tremendous opportunity to be educated from the world's top technology companies like Apple, HP, and Microsoft. The difference is in how you use this information to apply to your client's environment and the solution proposals you bring to the table.
What's the most rewarding part of your job?
The one accomplishment I am most proud of in my current role is winning the Summit Club Award two years in a row, last year in St. Thomas and this year in Puerto Rico. This is an award given to the top performers in the company for attaining and/or exceeding their goals.
What do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
As I reflect on what it was like to graduate, look for a job, and get to where I am today, I think the best advice that I can give students is to be prepared but also be self-prepared. What I mean by that is to have a sense of self. What are you good at? What are you not so good at? Be honest with yourself because a full-time job requires time and effort and in a global economy of doing more with less, you need to really like what you are going to be doing everyday; you can only figure that out once you really understand yourself.
The million-dollar interview question is always where do you want to be in 5 years? I want to be in a role where I am driving business transformation and making an impact for the company and myself. Being in that leadership role where I can enable people to be successful and assist in their development.
What advice do you have for students looking to land their first job?
Present yourself in a professional manner and communicate well. Your ability to make the hiring manager feel engaged and part of a good discussion helps you secure the job and/or further interviews. Be true to yourself and don't oversell yourself'people can see right through that. Always be able to speak to why you would be a good candidate, based on what you know you do really well.
Just be true to yourself and also be able to articulate the value of what you are bringing to the table. The attitude of what is in it for me isn't really an acceptable frame of mind when you are looking for job. Don't get me wrong: making sure you and the company are a fit is key. However, you can't enter an interview with that attitude. You have to enter the interview with the mindset that this is a partnership.
Visit Insight's website to view current employment opportunities.
Also take a look at RIM's Nigel Vanderlinden, and his career in the business-side of technology. Or, Ernst & Young's Andrew Mitchell, who found a career in business accounting.
Sponsored by Rogers