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Tina Miller

Tina Miller

Alcon Vision Labs

Medical Device Sales Representative

Personal Information

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School: Kansas State University

Major: Entrepreneurship

Years at College Works: 2011 to 2012

Career Information

Company You Work For Now: Alcon Vision Labs

Title: Medical Device Sales Representative

Industry: Medical

Brief Description of Duties / Responsibilities

I manage all sales of contact lenses in the Kansas territory for Alcon (a portfolio that consists of over 10 medical devices). I have a network of over 150 optometrists that I promote, educate, train and help serve as a business partner to. This involves very delicate relationship management, time management, and business development skills.

What Has Been Your Proudest Accomplishment Post-CWP?

I was hired for my current position hesitantly, because of my age. When I was hired, I was the youngest individual in the entire sales force (at 24), and that was out of over 300 individuals nationwide. I was hired because of my experience and because of my confidence, things that started from my time with CWP.

CWP Career Impact

In one sentence, what has CWP meant to you?

Like I previously mentioned, CWP literally spring boarded me into my career in sales. I had no idea I wanted to be in sales, until I started performing estimates. Who would have thought that a house painting internship would help me discover not only where my talent was in business, but also where my passion was.

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

I was an intern for CWP initially as a freshman, and went on to be a DM my sophomore year. From their, the experience I gained helped me get a Fortune 500 internship which eventually led to a full time position after college as one of the youngest sales representatives in my field nationally. That would not have been possible without the CWP experience on my resume and the lessons I learned in those two years.

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?

My favorite client was my first client. They were not the first ones I booked, but they were the first ones I painted. When I went in for the estimate, they had already researched me and could tell me where I was born, went to high school, what I ran in state track and even what I was doing at school. I was stunned and even a little worried. I had to work hard for that sale, considering they were both in sales and were not going to allow me to get off easily. When it was all said and done, I received hugs and a $1 bill with the words "first of a million" written on it. They believed in me then, and that kind of belief is what has kept me so driven all these years.

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

Sometimes you have to fail to succeed. There were a lot of things I did very wrong in those two years with CWP, but I learned from it, and I became a much stronger person because of it. Having CWP, my teammates and my DM at my back allowed me to make the mistakes I would learn the most from. You do not learn those lessons in a classroom.

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

I made so many friends during my time with CWP, and will still reach out to them regularly for career advice and personal advice. Even 5 years after the fact, my DM remains the top reference on my resume.

Advice

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

Do not be afraid to ask for help! Sometimes this job can feel a bit lonely, you do not always see your teammates and DM on a regular basis. Do not let this deter you from asking for help, that is why they built such an amazing network of alumni and managers. Use it!

Many college students struggle to choose between an internship specific to their target industry or doing CWP. What advice would you give them on this subject if they wanted to enter your career field?

It does not matter what field you go into, at some point you will have an opportunity to manage. Either people, resources, time or projects, management is inevitable if you hope to ever move up in your career. This is one of the foremost internships available to anyone wanting to learn just that. Do not let this opportunity pass you up, because no other internships will teach you the way this one does.

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

Experience. Nothing makes you a better sales person than getting as much experience as you can in any type of sales roles. CWP was the springboard for my sales career, and from there I chased down every opportunity I could to help further develop myself and my resume.

What's your favorite memory from CWP?

Canada with the Great Lakes division. The two trips I made up there while with CWP were so much fun! It was the perfect sized group and Windsor had a lot to offer. That and polar plunging into Lake of the Ozarks. Whew!

Last words of wisdom

Do not be afraid of the challenge. This is the hardest thing you will ever do, but I promise nothing else will make you feel this good when you accomplish it!

Tina Miller