Sixty one highly talented undergraduates from 14 universities were in attendance last week at the 3M SDSU Frontline Sales Conference (more on the background of Frontline as written in the previous blog seen here). It was my pleasure to join them, as well as the other 80 attendees including 3M Executives, Faculty from the universities and Sales Leaders, for a day and a half of the 3.5 days they spent together to learn more about a career in Sales.
Some of the students are graduating, and have taken position with 3M in cities across the country. Others will be going back to St. Paul, Minnesota this summer to work in one of multiple divisions of 3M that sponsor interns. Either way, these young people were a very impressive bunch; articulate, educated, well rounded with a desire to learn and earn.
Candace Mailand leads the charge for 3M’s Frontline national program, and along with Dan McGinley from SDSU (also a 3M veteran sales leader), they put on a spectacular program to give the students perspective on what is to come for them in their respective roles. Dr. Joe Belch, Dean of the College of Business at SDSU participated, and delivered a keynote presentation on the changing face of Sales. Dr. Belch reemphasized how this next generation will have to adapt to a world where buyers are data driven, analytical and loaded up on information by the time a salesperson arrives. Heads up!
It was a distinct pleasure to be on a Leadership Panel with 3 other seasoned sales veterans to share insight on career paths, the excitement of Sales and lessons learned-mistakes made along the way. Nashwa Helmi, VP of Sales from LabCorp; Marc Martin, VP of Beer from Karl Strauss Brewery (no, not kidding on the title) and George Diaz, Business Director from 3M’s Latin American division were my counterparts. Addressing the conference was exciting, but I also enjoyed listening and learning from my fellow panelists’ adventures in Sales.
The students delivered presentations on the last day as the capstone to the Frontline Conference. Based on the level of interest they showed throughout the conference, and by virtue of the fact that they were in position to take an internship or field Sales role with 3M, I am certain success will be part of their path forward. Frontline is a powerful platform to begin their careers.