Shy, quiet, reserved…not usually 3 adjectives you’d use to describe someone in sales right? However, that’s exactly what I was like when I applied for the sales representative position with Vector Marketing Canada back in 1996. I was a University of Guelph student, desperately in need of a well-paying summer job. I was heading to Nice, France for 10 months in September to study and travel and I needed to earn enough money for that trip. summer-jobs-note pad

When I started with Vector Marketing Canada, I fully believed that it’d be a typical summer job, a 4 month gig, then I’d be off to France. However, a real transformation happened that summer. I thrived in that environment, I started to love competition and grew and experienced things that were way out of my comfort zone. Previously, standing up and speaking in front of people was one of my greatest fears. I realized that summer however that I did enjoy public speaking, even though I still got red in the face and was nervous before many of my first few talks. I now love to get up in front of a crowd and share a message. I was really exposed to personal growth for the first time those initial couple of years at Vector Marketing Canada and have since become an avid reader. I’ve also personally invested in myself by attending various seminars led by industry experts in leadership, sales and success, and I even became a John Maxwell certified Speaker, Coach and Trainer. I don’t know if any of that would have transpired if I hadn’t stumbled across Vector Marketing Canada that summer.

That 4 month gig has turned in to a career that I’ve come to really cherish. As a French major, marketing, sales, business, HR…none of that had been on my radar, however I’m so glad that I took a chance that summer, and didn’t let the naysayers who questioned my decision stop me from giving it a shot.

I’ve had many successes, and of course challenges too that I’ve had to overcome over the years with Vector, I’ve been fortunate to experience a number of roles, however what I love most is that at the heart of Vector, you’ll find people who are passionate, giving, competitive, driven and who’ve really become some of my greatest friends.

Sheryl Sandberg, talks in her book, Lean In, that her career path hasn’t been so much of a ladder, but a jungle gym. This may not have been the career I was anticipating, but this summer job sure turned out pretty well.