Success Stories | Mar 26, 2018 | Gabelli School of Business
Success Story: Alexandra Quan ’17 accepts account manager role at Procter & Gamble
Not all finance students would describe a stint in sales as a major career step, but for a recent Gabelli School graduate, it’s a path worth following.
Alexandra Quan, BS ’17, started this month as an account manager at Procter & Gamble (P&G).
Having completed a concentration in global finance and business economics, Quan shares that her role is “pretty different from what my classmates are doing.”
In fact, she says, “I had never really thought about sales as a career path,” partly because of the misconception that sales always equates to cold-calling.
However, as an intern at P&G’s global headquarters last summer, Quan was delighted to learn that “sales at P&G is really different.”
Her role on the urban team, dedicated to expanding the company’s reach in the New York area, gave her a new view of the term. Tasks spanned from market research to exploring brand identity to preparing information for pitches, all related to familiar household brands such as Tide, Bounty, and Mr. Clean.
“Sales is the front line of the business,” she notes, “so it gives you a lot of responsibility.”
It involves a lot of strategy, too.
“When I was pitching my ideas, at least with the customers, you’ll get objections, and you have to know how to back up your arguments.”
Quan also found the autonomy refreshing. “I’m glad I got to take ownership in my work,” she says.
Quan’s positive experience at P&G led her to want to stick with sales. After meeting her internship objectives and making a successful sales pitch, she landed the full-time position.
In addition to job performance, Quan credits her communication skills with helping her to get the role.
“This is a no-brainer,” she claims, “but I was the first one to come in early, and I left when the director left, so I always had an opportunity to talk to him.”
She also made it a habit to branch out beyond her team.
“If I had any questions, I wouldn’t just ask my manager … I’d reach out to different departments.” Not only did it allow her to learn more about the products she was selling, but it showed her how many people were available to help.
“I don’t know if I’m going to do sales forever,” Quan says, explaining that she’s open to wherever life may take her, “but at least this is a stepping stone to finding out what I want to do.”