Listen to the interview (approx. 51 mn) or download it.
Graduated in 2010 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: guitar.
Position: Business Development (sales) at WorkforceQA. WorksforceQA provides drug and alcohol testing, as well as trainings on drug and alcohol-related issues, to businesses. Chris is one of only two sales people in a company of over 100. Chris splits his time roughly evenly between managing current accounts and seeking new business.
Overview: Chris did his final-semester internship with a music publisher in Nashville, and stayed in Nashville after graduation, hoping to become a professional songwriter. For four years he wrote music and performed it locally, but the income (and fame) from music was negligible and tending bar, while paying decently, felt like a dead-end job. So he moved back home to Salt Lake City, Utah in late 2013 while hoping to figure out the next step in his career. To make some money, his did some light construction work at his uncle’s drug-testing company for a few weeks, then was offered a sales role at a base salary of $10/hour. Hesitant to take the job, Chris accepted once it was made clear that his pay would increase once he had proved himself.
Through rugged determination Chris stuck it out in this low-paying job to the point where 6 months later, the other salespeople and their manager all had quit or been fired. With greater knowledge of the product, the whole country to seek business, and the newfound freedom to sell as he saw fit, Chris sales, and his income, improved dramatically.
You can see Chris’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “I enjoy the freedom in my job–where I can do what I think it best in order to earn the business and the excitement and satisfaction that comes along when I bring in a new client.”
I get paid, simply put, per drug test–a certain % the first year, a certain % the second year, then it stops. Clients can leave anytime, so I have an incentive to keep them happy.
Berklee was a great experience, but the fact that I’m in sales now is perfectly fine. It’s OK for something not to feel right anymore and what you lived at 18 or 20 changes
I’m happy about providing the promised service. I don’t embellish, so when it comes into fruition everyone is happy. I also get to meet with really cool companies and cool, sophisticated people.”
Chris as a Berklee student. “Creativity isn’t just limited to art or music. An education where creativity was supported and the environment was so creative has made me an employee who takes initiative and doesn’t just look for a manual.
Chris with colleagues. “My industry is totally a relationship sell. The reason I’m good at it is that I’m good at connecting with someone and earning their trust. That’s how you climb the ladder in sales.”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.