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Melanie Clark

Melanie Clark

Experian

Account Executive

Personal Information

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School: University of Massachusetts Amherst

Major: Communications

Years at College Works: 2008

Career Information

Company You Work For Now: Experian

Title: Account Executive

Industry: Software

Brief Description of Duties / Responsibilities

Manage all new business sales for Retail market in the Northeast.

What Has Been Your Proudest Accomplishment Post-CWP?

As the youngest member of the sales team, I was promoted twice at Experian in one fiscal year for performing over my sales target.

CWP Career Impact

In one sentence, what has CWP meant to you?

CWP made me realize the harsh truth that nothing works if you don't, and gave me a basis of holding myself accountable at an age when you just want to be selfish.

How did your CWP experience impact your career? Immediately after graduation? Now?

CWP impacted my career right out of the gate because I knew what it meant to have to earn your keep. I was a top performer on my team at Experian, not because I knew more than everyone else, but because I was willing to work harder. Now, I have grown immensely in my career and realized CWP taught me how to deal with conflict. The more you grow and the more interactions you have, the more conflicts you will be part of. No customer will ever be as angry as a person who received a bad paint job on their house. Be professional, set expectations, and offer concessions when applicable in order to come to agreements..

What do you want to tell your clients about what it meant to work with them and how it has helped you get to where you are today?

I don't remember names in particular but I would say thanks for giving me a chance. Most of them gave me their business because they loved my story and who I was.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from your CWP experience?

If sales was easy everyone would do it. Sales is interesting because you are sold on the belief of OTE, but only the top % reach this number and receive the types of benefits you are promised. This isn't just at CWP, but in the post-college world as well. It takes a type of resilience and drive that can't be taught, whether you're a 19 year old college student or a 35 year old business professional. If you have this drive, you will be successful. If you are easily defeated, you won't survive.

How has the friendships and networks you built during CWP affected you?

I still hang out with many of my CWP friends and have been offered jobs by 2. It's a great way to start building your professional network.

If you had to come up with an one line slogan for CWP, what would it be? :)

Learn who you are by making mistakes, prevailing, and growing because of it.

Advice

What advice do you have for potential CWP participants? Current CWP participants?

For potential CWP participants: Don't take this job if you are not willing to dedicate the time to be successful. The most disappointing thing I have seen is people who burn out because they are not dedicated to the cause. Current CWP participants: (1) Set realistic expectations with your customers (2) Treat every lead like gold (3) Ask your managers and GMs for help (4) Don't blame any one else if you are not seeing success. Success is in the numbers, get more leads, book more meetings, get more business. (5) Laziness will be tempting, don't be average.

What's your best advice for someone interested in entering your career field?

As you can tell from this internship, Sales is not for everyone. You will never work 9-5, take long vacations, or skate by in your career. For the people that can take on this challenge, you will be rewarded with the opportunity to make more money than executives in your business do. You will also have the opportunity to climb in your business quickly at a young age if you perform well.

What's your favorite memory from CWP?

Definitely Cancun my intern year. We were all great friends and had a blast.

Last words of wisdom

Take advantage of every opportunity you have with CWP. It's not often that you are given an opportunity to learn so much with such great people and little responsibility in your personal life. You have time to make mistakes, ask dumb questions, and have a ton of fun.