Passion for sales and dogs lands grad premium Purina gig
Where do our newly minted alumnae land in the job market? On Fridays throughout the summer, the editorial team will feature recent St. Catherine University grads and their first jobs.
Our first Friday Feature highlights December 2013 grad Dominique Staupe, who majored in fashion merchandising. Staupe currently works as territory manager for Nestlé Purina Petcare Company in Fort Worth, Texas.
What do you do at Purina?
I am responsible for 55 accounts in West Texas that culminate in $17 million of annual sales revenue. I work with account managers on creating effective promotions, and audit retail accounts for corporate compliance in merchandising and pricing standards. I also get to support small grassroots efforts with local animal shelters and humane societies, which is my favorite part of the job.
What led to you landing this position?
I am fortunate to have my current role as well as my previous role as a merchandiser for American Girl in Bloomington, Minnesota, due to the internships I earned as a student at St. Kate’s. My role in Purina came from an email blast Career Development sent to students about a summer internship with Nestlé Purina Petcare Company. Because I have a dog that has always eaten Purina food, I was immediately interested.
In order to gain a competitive advantage, I reached out to the HR department at Purina — as I had been taught to do in my business courses at St. Kate’s. Because of this direct access to the HR department, I secured phone interviews then moved to the in-person interviews in St. Louis, Missouri, and finally to an internship position. There were over 2,000 applicants for 19 positions.
Following my internship, I was offered a fulltime position — and I couldn’t be happier working for the company.
Any highlights or special recognitions that you'd like to share?
Prior to my graduation, I earned a top 10 ranking in a sales competition at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey. I had the opportunity to go with Mary Jacobs, director of the Center for Sales Innovation program, and Ana Saporito, another St. Kate's student.
As for my current career, I’ve had many small recognitions for success in sales, proactive cooperation and initiative. The best of these was being chosen to participate in sales analyst training after being in my current role for only five months; this training is awarded to territory managers who display the ability to move to the next role within the company.
What are your career goals? And how does this position fit them?
My short term goals are to earn a position as a sales analyst. Long term, I would love the ability to work with the Pet Engagement Team and work with rescue shelters to help animals find their forever homes.
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