University of Utah Bachelor of Science, Information Systems
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
So, um, I graduated high school in 2007 with my associates degree. From there, I received a number of different scholarships and I chose to go to the University of Utah. I studied information systems at the David Eccles School of Business while at the U and had a wonderful experience during my time at the U. I met a lot of wonderful faculty and met a lot of, uh, mentors for my career that have really served me well. I made a lot of friends that today I am still friends with and have utilized them in my career. And, um, after college, I graduated in 2010 a year ahead of my class, and I went to work for Goldman Sachs. I was illicit derivatives operations analyst where I was responsible for clearing trades on the European and Asian stock market. And I did that for three years. And, um, it was a wonderful experience. It taught me a lot. I really grew my career skills. Ah, lot while I was there and built a network of people to this day that I still utilize. And, um, I wanted to pivot in my career. I wasn't really doing, You know something that I was passionate about, And so I ended up taking a job working for a bakery brokerage firm. It's a small, family owned business, but I've really been able thio learn and grow my business acumen while being here. And, um, I've worked here for seven years, and I'm now currently the VP of sales for our company.

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? Tell us about weekly work hours, including the time spent on work travel and working from home.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
so because it is a small company, I wear a lot of different hats on top of being in a sales role. I do client on boarding and client customer relations management. So a CSM role? Um, I do anything from accounts receivable to quality control market evaluations. So I wear a lot of hats and yeah, that's why you know, I've been able to learn a lot of different areas of business and grow my skill set in that way as's faras my time, Um, typically a Knave Ridge Work week looks like 45 hours a week, but that will change, dependent upon you know what's happening. So every year we have a couple of food shows that we go to. So if I'm going with a vendor, I have to do a booth that changes, you know, kind of what my work week looks like. Assed faras travel goes. When I'm visiting customers, I would say about 15 to 20% of the time, someone in my position would be traveling to see clients to visit our vendors, being out in the market to see you know what other people are doing, what our competition, you know, I was doing and yeah, so that's a typical work week for me.So my industry is honestly an older industry. So a lot of people, you know, it took a little bit, um, to transition to the virtual meetings, but it feels now that it has become normal. Um, with you know, Microsoft teams and zoom on DSA um, of the other platforms that are offered, we've been able to have a number of sales meetings with, you know, different customers around the country. And, yeah, we're really grateful that way that they're allowing us to do that because, you know, Cove, it is really impacted our ability thio be in front of them and have that opportunity to show them our product lines. And so, you know, having that opportunity and them allowing us to send them samples on and still working on projects has been, really, you know, blessing for our company.

What are the challenges in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in dealing with these challenges? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
challenges that I face as a broker. It's really difficult because you have to manage a vendor expectations and also the customer side of the thing. So that creates a difficult position for a broker, you know, um, for example, recently I had a vendor come to us. They're located in California. Their cost of labor is going up, the minimum wage has been raised. And, you know, bakery products, if you're not automated, can be very labor intensive. So they were having challenges being competitive and with co vid freight rates have gone sky high. You know, they're taking advantage. They see an opportunity. And so they said, we have to implement a 10% price increase, and typically 10% would be outrageous. It's astronomical for a customer. They just they don't have the ability to raise their retail prices. So we have to go to the vendor and tell them we're concerned about losing the business. You know? What can we do here? Do we, as a brokerage need to take a haircut? Um, is there on alternative product that we can source, you know, the raw materials that we could change? Maybe the mix that goes into the product, so that is a challenge that I face in my business. Pricing is very sensitive, especially now with Cove, it and a lot of people around the country losing their jobs. People are cost conscientious of what they're what The groceries they're buying are, you know, are priced at, um, other issues that I have, you know, meeting sales, quotas, logistics. When you have a delay, quality issues, you know, products having quality issues could be a major issue if you have a market recall, so some of those issues or things that we deal with on a daily basis.

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
career path has taken me, um, into roles that I'm not really utilizing. A lot of the languages that I learned while I was, you know, in in school, studying information systems, I I honestly wish that I was doing more of that in my industry. But unfortunately, I'm not, so I

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
so people that I deal with range from presidents of companies. Thio, you know you're dealing with the customer service representatives who handle the purchase orders and the logistics. Um, but typically, I'm dealing with the vice president of sales and operations were working on projects, uh, to get products, um, into large grocery chains around the country. So, you know, on the vendor side of things, I work directly with the owners of companies on projects and the pricing points that we need to hit. Um and so those are the types of people that I interact with on a daily basis and effective approaches toe working with them. You know, I always try and be professional, and communication is key being very direct, um, and what I'm trying thio get get across to them, um, always being transparent. For both my customer and my vendor, being adaptable is really important because there's so many different types of people out there, and they have their own kind of style to business being able thio adapt to where the way they want to do it. Also, creating interpersonal relationships is really important, you know, getting to know people and building a relationship beyond business helps to create long lasting partnerships

How would you describe your management style? How has it evolved over the years? Can you tell about experiences or books that influenced your management style?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
one of the books that I read recently that I really thought was helpful was radical candor, and it really just goes into how in management we should be open to being, um, provided feedback, you know, criticism. That's constructive. As managers, we should always be allowing the people that work for us to provide us with feedback and help us to continue to grow and push ourselves and toe have that relationship and openness between yourself and your team. I think is really important. And I really enjoyed the book and I would highly suggested as faras my style. I just try to be, um, very direct in my communication and the feedback that I give. And I try to always set clear expectations of what I expect, as well as asking them what they expect from me and what I can provide them as a manager.

How do you manage conflicts within and across teams? How do you promote trust, openness and a healthy work culture? Sharing stories will greatly help.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
I honestly wish that I would have had some type of class in school that would have helped me prepare for this. Um, I don't know if you guys are offering it now, but, um, I, you know, that's a It's hard because conflicts happen on a daily basis, right? Everybody has a different personality. And, you know, someone could be having a bad day in a plant. They could have had a major machine go down and their stress. And so I would just say that focusing on on whatever your goal is that you're really a team working towards one task or one goal and so trying to move past, you know, whatever the conflict, maybe it maybe it was a miscommunication. Um, maybe someone is being rude, you know, just trying to stay professional and calm is something that I would recommend. I know it's not easy. And then, as I was stating earlier, trying to build that relationship with people beyond work, getting to know them, their family, I think it's a lot easier when you know someone really well to not have a knish. You where you know, you get upset and escalate to something you know, beyond professional behavior. So that's what I would, um, I would recommend as's faras. Ah, recent story I could share. I, um I had a vendor who had a quality issue, reported at one of my customers, and then they had multiple orders that were delayed or shorted product. And so I had to call them and talk to them and say, you know, we've noticed that this has become a pattern. We want to check in with you and make sure everything is okay. And when I spoke to the vendor, they were kind of, I think, caught off guard that they were being challenged. And so their response to me was not the most professional. And, you know, it had along the lines of Have you heard of coronavirus? You know, um, do you know that I'm the owner of the company, and so it was a challenge for me because, you know, I wasn't expecting that kind of response. And so, um, I had Thio really decide what kind of, um approach Do I want to take in that situation? You know, they're a vendor who's paying us to sell their products, and we get a check from from them every month. And so I have to be, uh I have to look at the long the long term picture here and that I'm a partner with them. Maybe he's having a bad day, you know? So I try to move past it, and, um, I'll learn from it next time on maybe, you know, some things that I could say differently. Um, but yeah, so I would I would say to your your students to maybe try and and work on that while you're in school if you can, because it definitely will help prepare you for the real world.

How can one get better recognition of work from one's boss and higher management? What mistakes should one avoid? Stories or examples will be quite helpful.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
When I worked at Goldman, I had a boss tell me that you know it's hard because you wanna be humble eso. It's not really natural to wanna tell everybody what you're working on. But they started to tell me that I should send out a monthly email to my boss and their bosses, letting them know the projects that I was working on that were above and beyond my daily tasks to show them that I was not just there to get a paycheck. I cared about moving up in the organization that I wanted to be a top performer, and so I did. Every month I would send out an email and I would, you know, breakdown with bullet points, the projects that I was involved in, um, the different people on the teams that I was working with and what we were trying to accomplish and, you know, kind of give them actionable items and, you know, little updates. As to where we were on those projects. I really felt like it helped uh, the managers above my manager see what I was doing and involved with. And when I spoke to them, they were able to talk to me about those things. And so you get more recognition and acknowledgment from them, they start to know who you are. The other thing that I really took away from Goldman was I would set up regular one on ones with my manager. Um, we had, I think, bi weekly meetings and then with their managers, I would set up quarterly meetings. So you go in and you just ask questions, you know, where do you see the company going? How are we doing this quarter? You know, what can I do? Thio, you know, continue to improve. Do you have any advice for me? And you get that quality time with them and they get to know you. Like I said on git really built a reputation for myself that I wanted to continue to grow, that I saw myself there long term. And just that time with them is very valuable. So that's another thing that I would recommend. Thea. Other thing is, I always copy my managers on my emails. Um, I think that it's good because they get to see what you're doing throughout the day. They know that you're working. Um, they also get to see if there's an issue right and how you handle that issue. Uh, they get to see the correspondence, and so they're in the loop when things come up. And so when you have your one on ones, you're able to get feedback from them. How did I do on that issue? You know, could I have handled it better this way? Or, you know, they can tell you the things that you did Well, eh, So those are the things I would recommend to people I know. It's It's hard Thio wanna be humble. But if you really want to progress in your career, you need to do those things so that you get the face time with upper management.

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
Yeah. So for us being a brokerage, obviously sales quotas are very important to us. You know, every year we set a strategic planning meeting where there's certain level of sales that every person on the team is expected to hit. But also we have things where our company as a whole, we want to continue to have year over year growth. So those are some of the things that you know are are kind of first that come to mind. Thea. Other things that we help our customers with. We help them with shrink. So in my industry, when I sell a product to a customer, let's say it's Ah, a donut. Um, they buy that product from the vendor, and they have to pay for the product, whether it's sales or not. So if they put the donut out on the display case and it doesn't sell, they have to toss it out after you know a day, or if they put it in a clamshell a couple of days. They don't have sales for that doughnut, but they have to pay for it either way. So that's what they call shrink. So we help them evaluate their different products and see where they could improve on shrink. Um, we try and help them, you know, utilize different marketing programs or merchandizing things that we can do to help push products. Thio cut down on that shrink. Um, maybe it's extending shelf life of product or, you know, doing something. But that's something that we always kind of look at for a K p I for them and as Faras are. Okay, ours. I would say that every year we talk about diversifying our client base, we really wanna push ourselves Teoh. You know what? What's an account? That's, ah, large enough that we think would be a stretch to get into. And so I would say, every year, you know, we're looking for an account that we've been trying to get into, that we haven't been able to really get in the door. And how many of those do we want to try and target that year and really kind of, you know, push the limits of what we think we can accomplish

What skills and qualities do you look for while hiring? What kind of questions do you typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
self, I would say there are a couple things that I would really look for. Number one is Are you detail orientated at Goldman? This was very important, you know, And my role that we were in operations. We were the last line of defense, as they call it. Um, we had really firm dollars that we were responsible for, and so we had risk involved. And so if you weren't a detail orientated person, there could be a lot of potential issues that you could, you know, come into and so really being detail orientated, making sure that you're checking who you're sending a trade thio, Um, and allocating things correctly under the ratio that you're supposed Thio that was extremely important. So I would look for someone who would say that they're detail orientated. I would also say, Do they hold themselves accountable? Are they a self starter? Right when I was working at Goldman, and even in my role now, so many people are working from home, and your managers don't have the time to constantly check in with you and see if you're being productive and if you're, you know, working on other improvement projects outside of your daily tasks. And so, um, making sure that they're accountable for what they're getting done in a day and pushing themselves to, really, you know, go above and beyond on then being a being able to manage tasks. Um, in my role as, ah, vice president of sales, you know, I have to manage a client kind of on boarding process from start to finish. And so I have to keep very detailed notes of where we are in the process so that I don't follow up. Maybe when I've already emailed them, you know? And I bothered them. Or, um if I need to follow up and chase on something that I do so and so I would say, you know, those are the most important for me is Are you able toe task? Manage well And are you a self starter on? Can you hold yourself accountable? And are you detail orientated?

Can you discuss career accomplishment(s) that you feel good about? Please discuss the problem context, your solution, and the impact you made.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
So, um, the first deal that I ever closed while working for my current company was an account with wind co foods. And, you know, I was, uh I was calling around and trying to get accounts cold calling generating leads, and, uh, wind co was one that I really wanted to be involved in. I wanted that account because it was here locally in in my state of Utah, and we were able to get some muffins in into their, um, into their stores. And it really was an accomplishment because I was able to deliver a $300,000 account to our vendor. Um, it really, at the time was a perfect timing because they were really, you know, pressuring us to deliver sales for them on day wanted to continue to grow. And so, um, you know, having the title of VP of sales, you feel the pressure Thio, you know, deliver on that. And so that is something I'm very proud of and having done and, um, the problem and solution with that. So when co foods, they're very cost conscientious, and what happens when you get into their their stores is for every item that you put in there, D. C. They have a slotting fee, and that goes along with the paperwork they have to do to set it up. You know, the management of of distributing the products between their stores and all of that, and they're slotting fees, air quite high. So when you get into their stores, they don't guarantee you a number of months that you'll have the account. There's no contract that you sign. And so, you know, being able to close that account was not easy because the vendor had to feel comfortable that they were going to be able to recoup. That was slotting fees, which were quite steep. Eso you know, we had as a team had to discuss the margins involved, the logistics involved and where we were shipping the products to because there were multiple DCs involved and s O. That was something that I felt good about as a team member. Um, currently, I'm working on a project for a chain called Sprouts. We're working on a rustic flatbread, and we've recently been told that we're going to get a three month test period where we can display our products and see how they sell. Now they have 300 stores around the country, and it would be about a $1.5 million deal if they choose to move forward and have that product in their stores year round. So it's really important to me that I onboard this customer, you know, in the very most smooth, possible way, um and that we really sell that product during those months and we do everything we can Thio promote the product to maybe give them some type of, you know, sales promotion, whether it be a bogo or, you know, marketing fees or something to really promote that products so that we can ensure that we are in their long term. So those are some of the experiences where I felt really good about you know what I'm doing

What responsibilities and decisions did you handle at work? What were the challenges? What strategies were effective in dealing with these challenges?

Based on experience at: Operations Analyst, Goldman Sachs
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
abilities. I worked on the European and Asian stock market so trader would execute a trade and it would go to our back office, um, our system where we process traits. And at that point you have thio. Basically, look at all of the trades coming through and you have to determine Are they supposed to clear in our house Goldman's house? Or are they supposed to clear and be allocated to another firm? Um, it was a very stressful job because on those particular stock markets, they have many different products that have different cut off times. And so you have to be very vigilant and that you process those trades by the deadline because, like I said earlier, there's really firm risk and money involved. So if it's an option and it's going to, you know, uh, have to clear somewhere else, you have to make sure that you allocate that before the deadline. Or you could be financially risking, you know, millions or billions of dollars, depending on you know, the size of the trade. Um, and so that was my day day today. I also, you know, had to work on mentoring and training new employees on our markets so that we had coverage when someone was sick or out on vacation. Um, you know, those air challenges because everyone learns in a different way. Some people just wanna learn how to process the trades mechanically, but they don't want to know what they're actually doing. Um, and what really is happening behind the scenes And so, you know, you have to find the way to teach them that gets through to them while being a good team player. You know, a good and good colleague, Um, and making sure that you're giving them the knowledge that they need that your managers are going to feel that you did a good job as's faras dealing with those, you know, challenges. Um, there were days where it was very stressful. You know, when you when the futures trades were, um, rolling to the next, uh, time period. Things were very hectic, and everybody is It's all hands on deck. And so on those days you don't take a break. You don't really eat, You know, out outside, you eat at your desk. Um, you know, you get stressed, and you have to manage how you interact with your colleagues make sure that you're still being professional, that you're completing your work on time. And, um, you know, it takes a person who who really wants to build those skill sets, right, working as a team, making sure that you're communicating with your managers before something happens. If you are concerned about something, um, making sure that you're transparent with, um everyone around you, whether it be another firm, you know, you get phone calls and they say, Hey, where is this trade? And you have to be transparent, like, Look, we're working on it or, you know, so just trying to be as direct and, um as on top of everything as you can.

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts?

Based on experience at: Bachelor of Science, Information Systems, University of Utah
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
of Utah was an amazing experience. I met so many wonderful faculty. I had a lot of wonderful advisers, people who really gave me opportunities, and they saw the potential in me. And for that, I'm really grateful. Um, Asus Faras The resource is that I use I think one of the most beneficial things that I did while at the university was participating in clubs. So while I was there, I joined HBs a the Hispanic Business Student Association. And I learned, you know, by being a nawf iss er in that club, whether it be the vice president, I was a president for a little while. You learn how to really work as a team for one goal, whether it be fundraising or preparing to go to, Ah, a trade show where you're going to meet potential employers or bringing in guest speakers to speak to your students. You really learn a lot about maybe the real world, right? Um, what types of things you're gonna have to do in a job. And, um, I think it was a great preparation for me for the experiences I would have down the road. And it also built an incredible network of people that I could utilize down the road. You know, people who went in all different directions with their careers, but that if you are looking to pivot and do something else, you know, you're looking Thio, maybe find a different job, those air people that I stay in touch with Andi, I can always reach out to down the road for, uh, you know, potential opportunities and and they'll think of me and me of them eso I definitely would encourage students thio join and participate in clubs because it really gives you exposure thio companies and to professionals who are coming in and speaking to you that you wouldn't have otherwise.

What three life lessons have you learned over your career? Please discuss the stories behind these lessons, if possible. Stories could be yours or observed.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
the three life lessons I've learned is hard Work is always the best way to go about anything. Nothing in life is given. You have to work hard and, uh, strive to whatever your goal is so hard. Work, reputation at Goldman reputation was really, you know, talk to us a lot. They said, you know, you want to strive to have your reputation be good, that you're trustworthy, that that you can be accountable, that we can, you know, count on you to get things done and and not need, you know, us toe manage you or look over your shoulder. And, um so building a reputation that I'm proud of is one that I would really, you know, suggest people think about as they start their careers. And the last thing I would say is expectations. So having discussions with your managers about what their expectations are for you, um, is really important. And I would also say having you tell them what your expectations are, where you want to go in your career is the career path, you know, being being offered to you the way that you wanted to. Are you happy with where you're at and lastly, with expectations, I would say I am very type A. I'm always wanting to be the best, Um, and not Not that I want anyone to do bad, but I always want to be a top performer. I want Thio succeed at everything I'm doing, and I want that management to see me in that way. Um, but what I learned is that not everybody on my team wants to work as hard as me and who has those same expectations and goals. And that was a hard lesson at Goldman. You know, I really, uh when someone didn't work as hard as me, I struggled because you still have to work with them. But you don't look at them in the same light, right? Because they're not putting in the same effort. They don't care the same way that you do. And my managers really had to tell me that, you know, in life there's going to be rolls for every different type of person, and we can't really put those expectations on other people. Um, we can only really focus on ourselves. And so those are the three things that I've learned that I would, uh maybe hope that other people can learn from to that I would have liked someone to tell me about

What starting job (after internship) would you recommend to students who hope to grow professionally like you? What other parting advice, dos, and don'ts would you give?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Sep 11 2020
Yeah, So I mean, uh, it's hard because my career path didn't go in the way that maybe a typical I s major would go. When I went to Goldman, I wasn't really utilizing a lot of the s skills that I had learned. So, you know, for me to say go be an analyst, I don't know that that's really what your students are looking for. The one piece of advice that I would give us to be open to opportunities. So when Goldman offered me the job, they actually told me a week before I had to move that the job was in Chicago. And at the time my husband was in school at the Yuhas Well, and he couldn't just go with me. Eso It was something that I had to be open to. I really wanted to start my career, and I thought that Goldman Sachs would be a great corporation toe have on my resume and to build those skills. And so I said, Yes, I'll go to Chicago for six months, and, um, it was a great experience, and I'm very glad that I was open to that opportunity, because if not, I don't know You know where my path may have led, um, or how long it may have taken me to find another opportunity. So I would just, you know, tell people to be open to maybe a potential opportunities. They weren't really thinking of, um that it may lead to a wonderful path somewhere that they didn't expect.