Stranger in a Strange Land

The Sales Centre is filled with a diverse group of Business students. There are majors ranging from Marketing, to Finance, and even some Accounting. There are people who belong to the different fraternities and organizations within the College of Business. If there is one thing which links them all together, it is the fact they are all business students. They have all taken many of the same core classes, they hang out in Copeland all day, and they have many of the same experiences. However, that can be a problem for someone like me.

It is not a secret there are not many engineers in the Sales Centre. In fact, I am pretty sure I can count the number of them on one or two hands. It can be nice because I know some of them on a more personal level, but what about everyone else? I have a little bit of COB experience, but not as much as the rest of the Sales Candidates. My day consists of writing programs, finding bend allowances for sheet metal, and learning about lean manufacturing, things people in the COB find too hard to comprehend. But if they bring out a financial statement or talk about marketing strategies, I sometimes want to cry. I was never in the cluster either, which seems to unite everyone who took part in it whether it was two years ago or last quarter. I may not be able to relate to a lot of things going on at Copeland, but it does not stop me from having a good time here.

Being a part of the Sales Centre as an engineering student definitely can be challenging, but it also has its benefits. For one, the sales courses are a welcomed break from the engineering course load. Instead of being covered oil and metal shavings or calculating complex formulas, I can sit down and learn about GIYCH (Getting inside your customer’s head) or how to counter objections in a sales call. It is also a great way to broaden your knowledge on many things. You do not want to know how to find the yield point of a particular metal and not be able to understand the basics of a job interview, do you?

Although there are many conversations with other Sales Candidates in which I feel I cannot relate, I have never felt left out. Everyone in the Sales Centre, from the CAC all the way down, have been welcoming and helpful through every event, every class, and every interview. The Sales Centre is such a great group to be a part of because of the people you will meet in it. Trust me, they are one of a kind, but they are great.

Though being an engineer in a primarily business organization can be intimidating at times, you get a lot more out of being in the Sales Centre than you would ever expect. Even though I cannot relate to the cluster and some of the things I talk about may seem weird to some of the Candidates, I am learning a lot, meeting some great new people, and having fun along the way. Joining the Sales Centre was one of the best decisions I have made so far in school, and I do not think I will be regretting it anytime soon.

So to all of you engineering students who just got into the Sales Centre: WELCOME! Have some fun and get involved. It is a decision I know you will not regret.

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