My name is Danielle Mitchell. I graduated from the University of Illinois-Champaign May 2011. At the University, I studied Marketing and Management from the College of Business. After I graduated, I started doing digital marketing where I wrote online ads. I quickly realized that this was not the job for me and began the process of searching for a better fit. During my time writing ads, once you got the hang of it, you worked alone and it became very routine. Some days I would not talk to anyone besides my cubicle mate and my normal lunch group. Being from the College of Business, I knew the National Black MBA Career Expo would be a great start for me to find my path to a career. We send our College of Business undergrads to the career expo every year because we understand how important the level of networking and exposure to certain companies you get here is. Many have come back with internships, full-time jobs and expanded their networks, which have helped later down the line.
I took off work Friday and flew into Atlanta and went to the Career expo on a mission. There I networked with a lot of great companies; however I really connected with Coca-Cola. I spoke for a long time with a District Sales Manager in the Ohio Market Unit. He told me about a new position that was being created that would roll-out nationwide titled the Market Development Manager position. He told me that he position would not go live until next year and to start applying for the position in December. We kept in contact through LinkedIn and in December I applied and landed the position in Florida.
After the Career Fair, I was really motivated and excited for my future. I stayed with the digital marketing company until November. When I started with the company I was told it would be a 3-month intern to hire program. After speaking to a lot of people, I saw that the time to hire actually varied and some were in the intern program for as long as 6 months. I began to get unmotivated when after 4 months only one person from the intern group was hired full time. In November, I was fired for the first time EVER! However, I told everyone I left to look for better opportunities. The next day I spoke to my friend Vanessa and went to New York to get more sales experience and do contractual work under her as a one stop closer for a marketing company. I did this until it was time to interview with Coca-Cola. I believe getting this sales experience helped me to land my career starting job with Coca-Cola.
I started the Market Development Manager position in January 2012. As an MDM I was given a territory in Orlando, Florida and managed everything in that territory from Colleges to ‘mom and pop’ restaurants. I realized that I am definitely a person that loves the customer service/ client facing portion of a Business. Fourteen months later I received a promotion and I am now the Key Account Development Manager for Vending Machine Full Line Operators throughout the entire state of Florida. Thirteen months after that I moved to Atlanta to continue my journey with Coca-Cola working in the Large Store Arena working with Walmart and Kroger stores.
Yes you read that correctly. My first year after college I had 3 jobs in 3 states in a 3 month span. Life is not how you start it is about taking chances, enjoying the journey and dancing in the rain!! During my entire time of searching and finding what was best for me, I definitely stayed grounded and listened to what I wanted and prayed and relied on God for guidance and let him order my steps. With my relationship with God and two very supportive parents, I was able to live and explore and ended up exactly where I needed to be.
~XO Average Black Girl ~
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