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Sarah Hale

Sarah Hale

SAP

Global Strategic Initiatives

Personal Information

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School: Saint Louis University

Major: Hons. English/American Studies

Years at College Works: 2008

Career Information

Company You Work For Now: SAP

Title: Global Strategic Initiatives

Industry: Software

Brief Description of Duties / Responsibilities

Helping SAP's most strategic customers achieve success.

What Has Been Your Proudest Accomplishment Post-CWP?

Gaining a deep understanding of the world of business, commercial structures, and getting to work across Europe.

CWP Career Impact

In one sentence, what has CWP meant to you?

CWP was one of the steepest learning curves I have ever experienced. It prepared me for success in the world of business and, through real-life and practical training, strengthened my work ethic, business acumen, and taught me what I do and don't like about the business world.

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

Originally I planned to be an investigative journalist. My college work experience, undergraduate and graduate degrees are the foundation for this. As President of the Missouri College Media Association (2009), I realized it would be important to gain an understanding of the news' business model to supplement my understanding of the editorial side. After graduating, a great work opportunity came up in business technology, so I took that to round out my experience. CWP was for me the equivalent of a minor in business, and I applied many of the lessons learned there by my work at one of the top 20 global brands. Fundamentally, my experience selling, marketing and recruiting with CWP helped land a job as the first UKI 'early talent' for an inside sales team.

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?

In general, without clients there is no business. Customers are everything, and a genuinely satisfied customer is a great thing!

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

Success in business is a combination of working 'hard' and working 'smart.' The most successful interns had an absolutely stellar work ethic, but also applied intelligence to learn from their mistakes and build something out of nothing, learning a lot along the way.

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

The experience meant more to me than the network. I have not kept in touch with anyone from my CWP teams as I moved to Europe after graduation.

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

The most valuable challenge you can find.

Advice

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

You need a lot of confidence to start your own business, because you are working against the inertia of your current experience level. Get that confidence from a deeply-instilled belief in your ability to learn, and work well with others. It can be a struggle to find this confidence in the face of adversity, and many people become over-confident. I saw this happen with some people in CWP. In fact, real business is about staying humble and hungry, and doing everything you can to build functional, win-win relationships with customers. Put the customer first, set proper expectations, and hammer out win-win deals for all involved, and you will be a success.

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?

CWP is extremely valuable experience. In college I had a number of content-related internships in journalism and project management. You don't need to limit yourself to one internship. The lessons you learn in CWP include practical skills that you will definitely use throughout your career. Business skills are needed in every endeavor. Even if you go into music, art, writing, etc. you will need to have fundamental business skills.

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

Work hard, stay positive, have an open mind, and learn, learn, learn from everything--particularly from experience.

What's your favorite memory from CWP?

Signing my first deal, simple as that.

Last words of wisdom

There is some wisdom in professional selling--some people are sales lifers, but every person can benefit from two years with a sales quota. This is totally true in today's society. College Works Painting is a great start to a career in business.

Sarah Hale