Having served as the president of my sorority overseeing 250 members, I have learned the value of leadership. Collaborating with nine other executive members has taught me the importance of listening, consensus building, and prioritization. While I can say that I have gained meaningful skills, now a senior at the University of Florida, I wonder if these experiences are providing me the tools for the modern workforce? While this title, and others, might have seemed important during my college career, are they enough?
As many generation Z students, like myself, interview with various companies for post-graduate employment, questions abound whether our classroom experiences provide enough soft skills training for the workplace. In fact, most classes that I have taken do not even discuss the components necessary to secure a job post-college. While my education has provided me with amazing experiences and opportunities, I realize now more than ever the importance of b2b sales experience prior to graduation.
LEARN TECHNIQUES TO BETTER YOURSELF
In thinking about acquiring the tools essential for the modern workforce, I realize an internship is a must. Yet, how do we know what experience is going to be most valuable for our growth? On a friend’s recommendation, I applied for an internship to become a sales development representative (SDR). I had no idea what to expect out of this experience. While I knew that I needed an internship, I did not realize how much I could gain with this one.
While most students have the same titles on paper, since becoming a sales development representative, I have gained b2b sales experience, learned the sales process steps, and acquired lead generation strategies. This experience as an SDR in sales has taught me more effective ways to stand out from my peers. One of the most important lessons is how to sell yourself. Selling yourself is a tool I have learned in order to show companies the unique skills that I gained as an SDR in sales, which I can provide to their company in order to grow. Prior to starting my internship, I did not have a clear idea as to how to sell myself to companies. Through my work experience in b2b sales, I can now pinpoint selling points that make me a stronger candidate for companies.
Beyond providing me valuable experience, learning the sales process steps and lead generation strategies as a sales development representative has made me an overall better president. These skills have given me the ability to present ideas more effectively to my executive board. I encourage every student to acquire an internship, yet more importantly, one that teaches the value of being a sales development representative, sales process steps, and lead generation strategies no matter what their major or career goals.