Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Written by Jacob Schuster

Jacob Schuster is an early-graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Business Administration-Marketing, pursuing his Master’s degree in Marketing in Fall 2020. Participating in two internship programs with The Selling Factory, working on an outreach campaign as well as a part of our certificate program, his experience with remote work lends insight into college students pre, during, and post-pandemic.

It can be hard for college students to get out of their comfort zones. Early into school, you become set in social circles and daily routines. It can be tough to break out of this repetitiveness. Until something significant happens, like a graduation or a change in scenery, sometimes unfortunate circumstances like an injury or a health crisis. These kinds of changes force you to adjust. From adopting a different daily route, trying new activities, or even tweaking your approach to the sales process steps. This change in perspective can benefit individuals because of the chance to be humbled by understanding others’ struggles or by presenting a previously unseen opportunity.

In my experience as a sales development representative (SDR), having been onboarded and worked a whopping sum of two days in a fun corporate office with outstanding work culture, going into work each morning was a blast. However, with the necessary precautions being taken because of the pandemic, I transitioned to working as an SDR and adapting to remote work culture, making calls, and operating within an outsourced sales team from my apartment. While at first, I thought that the enjoyable environment fostered at my workplace would lose its magic, weekly virtual meetings and bi-weekly Zoom calls with my outsourced sales team have kept me in contact with my peers and managers. This remote work culture served as an opportunity to bring in informative guest speakers while ensuring all SDRs can attend, which is better than having to work around everyone’s schedules and requiring a convenient physical location.

A work from home sales job has presented me with a time slot to stretch every morning, which makes my body more healthy and my work more productive. It was because of the change to working from home that I now see previously hidden perks in daily life.

Another aspect of my work from home sales job has been reaching out to peers, potential clients, and managers exclusively over the phone and email. The sales process steps are now more accessible. In the past, if I have a pressing question, I could walk into their office or see them throughout the day. Now a part of a remote outsourced sales team, having multiple points of contact within organizations and practicing repeated sales tactics has moved me away from my previous approach.

The benefits are clear, even beyond the work environment. In on-campus involvement, if a club supervisor or department head is slow to respond, following up more frequently can create a meaningful relationship, which incentivizes them to respond in a more suitable time frame. Along with frequent follow-ups, having multiple points of contact within an organization is made easier by scalable outreach.

When the campus was open, I did not have the confidence or the time to walk into the office of every professor or department head. As I navigated through my work from home sales job, I could easily send a mass email to every relevant staff member in a department to introduce myself and my goals; while the majority may not be interested in connecting with me, the few that are interested can be useful contacts and beneficial connections, even after graduation. This was not a part of the sales tactics I applied before my remote position started, but it is an approach I can continue. After stepping out of my comfort zone and into remote work culture, the sales process steps have been transformed and made easier, even after work and school are back in-person.

During the school year, classes all day and workouts in the evening became routine. Although structure can breed success, it may also result in idleness, and this did not fulfill the cultural exploration that I expected of college. In the time saved on the trivial minutiae of life before the pandemic, I have found time for professional certifications, trying new things in the kitchen, and being able to really focus on sales tactics as an SDR. This shift from our initial comfort zones, brought on by a remote work culture and other effects of the pandemic, presents opportunities for individuals and society to experience different ways of life, resulting in personal development and overall growth.  

Victoria Zamitalo

Campaign Manager

Victoria received a BA in History and Economics from the University of Florida in May 2023. She is a driven sales professional with over 5 years combined experience in customer service, consumer relations and outbound sales, and is deeply passionate about fostering close relationships between consumers and sellers. She aims to train the next generation of sales professionals in not only the tricks of the trade, but also interpersonal skills that make sales the exciting and ever-changing industry that it is.

Mia Semel

Campaign Manager

Before graduating with a B.A. in Sustainability Studies, Mia took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, recruiting, and leading campaigns. She is an active listener and effective communicator, specializing in fostering genuine connections and finding common ground among differing perspectives. She aims to find practical, creative solutions regarding sustainable development, biodiversity and the climate crisis.

Kira Grieve

Senior Campaign Manager

Kira graduated from the University of Florida and received her Master of Science in Entrepreneurship. She is passionate about helping businesses grow and connecting with new people. Some of her hobbies include traveling and hiking. She hopes to visit all of the National Parks one day!

Jared Glosser

Vice President

After graduating from UF in 2014 with a B.A. in history, Jared started his professional career Fundraising for a non-partisan political lobby in South Florida. In 2016, Jared moved back to Gainesville to work for a non-profit, recruit students for international travel opportunities, and pursue his MBA at UF. Jared has been with The Selling Factory since 2019 focusing on operations, client onboarding, and client success.

Ian Massenburg

Chief Operating Officer

A graduate of University of Florida (B.A. 2001), Ian Massenburg brings over 18 years of sales executive and sales management experience to The Selling Factory. Before coming on-board, Ian worked alongside Brad at Infinite Energy, and then spent his next 3 years as VP of Partnerships selling SaaS products B2B. Ian brings his vast knowledge and experience to the team and to our partner companies served.

Damien Paulk

Campaign Manager

Damien is a University of Florida graduate that recently joined the team full time after working as a Sales Development Intern for one year. As a Campaign Manager, Damien looks forward to contributing to the growth and success of The Selling Factory. When Damien is not at work he enjoys exploring Gainesville with his girlfriend and dog or watching the Gators dominate college football.

Brendan Viehman

Campaign Manager

Brendan graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Project Management. For the past 5 years, he has enjoyed working with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency development. In his free time, he surfs and makes personal finance videos for his YouTube channel.

Savannah Howard

Campaign Manager

A graduate from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, Savannah obtained her Bachelor of Science in public relations with a concentration in French. After almost two years as a sales development intern for The Selling Factory, she joined the leadership team in 2021 taking on the role of Campaign Manager. In her free time, Savannah enjoys going to concerts and festivals and cooking for her friends and family.

Zack Kampf

Campaign Manager

Zack is a creative technologist with experience in advertising, event planning, and game design. He started as an SDR in 2018 and has been with TSF ever since. Upon graduating UF in 2019 he became a campaign manager and is currently seeking a master's degree from NYU. In his spare time, you can find him at the intersection of Art & Technology!

Josiah Blakemore

Growth Manager

Josiah has over 10 years of sales experience, worked with Brad and Ian at Infinite Energy, and also spent time selling SaaS as Director of Partnerships at SharpSpring. He’s always been very competitive and has a love for sports and games. He enjoys solving problems and coaching team members to do the same!

Sue-Ming Frauenhofer

Marketing Manager

Sue-Ming received both her B.S. in Psychology and M.S. in Management from The University of Florida. As a student, she took on multiple roles while interning at The Selling Factory, including sales development, marketing, and recruiting, eventually leading to her current role as Marketing Manager. She enjoys refining her taste in music and visual art, engaging in mindfulness and meditative practices, and frolicking outside with her sidekick pup.

Adam Grossman

Chief Development Officer

Adam is an ordained rabbi, who has founded multiple ventures focused on workforce development. Hired as CEO by a failing non-profit, in over 5 years, his ingenuity saved the organization, which led to recognize it as one of North America’s most innovative Jewish non-profits. His expertise to identify, cultivate, and on-board talent ensures our student teams meet our partners’ needs.

Brad Gamble

Chief Executive Officer

After graduating from UF in 1999 with a B.S.B.A, Brad Gamble has dedicated himself to sales management, branding, coaching, and building companies. He served as the VP of Sales & Marketing for Infinite Energy until 2014, when he founded The Selling Factory. He has dedicated himself to teaching critical skills to tomorrow’s leaders, and helping companies achieve sales success and revenue growth.