CLAS Career Night: Exploring Business Careers with CLAS Alum Fareed Rasheed ’08

Are you interested in pursuing a career in business? Want to know more about what a typical day in the life of a sales consultant is like? Check out the alumni interview below Fareed Rasheed, Sales Consultant at Cintas Corp.

Fareed Rasheed ‘08
CLAS Major: Anthropology
Current Position: Business Sales Consultant at Cintas Corp

Why did you decide to pursue a career in sales?
I decided to choose a career in sales because it gave me the opportunity to determine my income. The work you put in day in and day out will directly affect your paycheck. Sales is the lifeblood of any business, and as an entrepreneur, I’ve picked up many skills that help me run my own business.

What is a typical day in your job like?
A typical day in my world usually starts at 7:30am in the office, or out in the field. If it’s an office day, the sales team usually has a quick 30-minute meeting with our market manager to go over the previous week’s sales and updates within the organization.  We then get on the phones, setting up appointments and following up with prospects to fill our days with activity. We usually head out of the office after lunch and get into our territories to meet with prospects. On days we don’t go to the office, we start the day in the field going on appointments and cold calling businesses. As a sales consultants, we make our own schedules every week.  It’s up to us to set as many appointments each week as possible.  The more business owners we get in front of, the more sales we will typically generate. This is the part of the job where we have the power to directly impact our monthly income.  After all my appointments, my day ends around 5pm with some organizing and end of day emails.

What is your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part of my job is meeting with business owners daily. I find out what their goals are and offer them solutions that help them run their business more efficiently. I also enjoy that there’s never a dull moment, and every day presents new challenges. It’s a very rewarding career choice for individuals that have positive attitudes and embrace challenges.

What skills do you need to succeed as a Business Sales Consultant at Cintas Corp?
A successful long-term career in sales requires me to always network. I belong to a few network groups that allow me to meet new people that can buy from me or refer me to others who can. I have a higher chance of closing more sales when more people in my area are aware of the services I offer. I started hosting my own networking event to help not only myself, but also my peers, reap the benefits of networking.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve connected with the people in my network to help me throughout my career.  I truly believe no matter the career path, everybody can benefit from networking with like-minded professionals.

What advice do you have for current students looking to pursue a career in sales?
For any student looking to get into sales, I would recommend considering internships and working closely with the sales team. A management trainee program is also a good way to get into sales because it usually gives a trainee time in a couple of departments to get a good understanding of the company.  Sales is a performance-based job, and with a trainee program, a candidate has some time in sales to prove his or her worth.