In January 2003, I came to CDW from a career in the banking industry. I applied for a sales position — an area I was familiar with and one for which I was incredibly qualified. I didn’t know technology at the time, but I knew how to study and how to talk to people. Around this time, my parents had been traveling overseas and had brought me back a stone with inscription on it that read:
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford.
I love that. To me, it means my mindset, my attitude, determines my altitude. This summed up my approach as I began my career at CDW, and it’s served me well ever since.
Changing Roles, Learning Skills
My position at CDW has changed over the years. Initially I found great success as an account manager. I twice was named to the President’s Achievement Trip and became a mentor to newer coworkers. I loved the challenge of getting to know my customers, understanding what they were looking for, and trying to help them solve their business’ strategic goals. But I wanted to better understand how CDW addresses its challenges as a business in the marketplace. In 2006, I joined our Product and Partner Management group and became a brand manager.
I worked first with Samsung and then with Sony. I presented to CEOs and walked the sales rows of our company, evangelizing CDW to the brand, and the brand to CDW, helping me tighten my sales and presentation skills. In addition, these presentations forced me to become more analytical in my approach to data. This would serve me well as I moved through our company and extrapolated information for presentation.
Wanting to be more technical and with a goal of serving our customers more strategically, I moved to our Solution Architect group, where I focused on RFID, Data Capture and Digital Signage. Each of these roles have helped me deepen my technical acumen and my ability to digest, retain and share information. This has been invaluable to me as a technical sales person. About five years ago, CDW leadership put a focus on data center technology and moved me and transitioned my team into a data center role within the company.
Attitude Overcomes All
In each of these moves, I had moments where I’ve questioned my capabilities. I questioned if I could learn the skills required to do my job exceptionally. And each time, I have always come back to the quote on my stone. If I think I can, I will succeed. If I think I can’t, I won’t.
In my role as an RFID specialist, I was uniquely positioned to see the growing importance of data and how it would sweep the world. Three-and-a-half years ago, I started to take a serious interest in analytics and begin pursuing all of our data center partners, questioning their data strategies, attending data conferences, and trying to see where the industry was moving so that when the role and time came along, I would be positioned for the next move in my career. Over time, I have come to see how my hard work in one role has always led to my next position. Four months ago, I made the move to Field Solution Architect at CDW in our newly formed Analytics Practice. If you think you can…
While I’ve been driven to challenge and position myself in my career, I’ve also been blessed to be surrounded in my personal and professional life by mentors who have guided me, supported me, and at times, helped me to see strengths in me that I could not see myself. I’m not sure where the next path leads, but I’m glad to be where I’m at, and grateful to my parents for their support throughout my life, and the wonderful people at CDW who are truly my work family.