Brittany Smythe, Eller Business Management ’10
Sales Analyst, Kraft Foods
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Just under two years after graduation, Brittany Smythe is moving up fast in Kraft Foods. “I began my career as a sales associate and after four months was promoted to a sales representative,” she said. She grew her Phoenix territory by 21 percent, and just accepted a promotion into the Cincinnati corporate office.
“Coming into Eller, I had your typical student goals — get good grades, get involved, and graduate with a job I loved,” she said. “What I didn’t realize was just how equipped Eller was to provide me with exactly that, and how it would translate into the business world.” While she said her goals have shifted from getting good grades to growing sales, providing value-added post analytics, and earning high performance ratings on her year-end review, “the mentality has remained the same.”
Smythe originally came to the UA with hopes of being part of the gymnastics team. “I injured myself prior to freshman year, eliminating that possibility and ending my gymnastics career,” she said. “Although I was extremely disappointed with the situation, I remained positive and took advantage of the opportunities I wouldn’t have been able to participate in had I been a collegiate athlete.”
During her time at Eller, she was involved in the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, worked as a student coordinator in the dean’s office, and was a member and chair of the Eller Board of Honor and Integrity. “Creating such a large network of resources was not just a positive college experience, but has become a critical tool to my success in the early stages of my career,” she said.
Apart from Eller involvement, Smythe was a resident assistant on campus, and a gymnastics teacher at a Tucson training center. “Being involved and participating in multiple organizations really helped to identify the direction I wanted to go with my post-college career,” she said. “Prior to signing onto Kraft Foods, I held two different internships, one with Kimberly-Clark, and one with two major league baseball teams.” Smythe credits the opportunity to sample different industries with helping her understand her own passions.
“When I was researching companies, there were two things that really drew me to Kraft,” she said. “The first was the people. I can truly say that Kraft Foods is like having a second family. And the second factor that really appealed to me was the ability for a flexible career path. The leadership and support from upper management has provided me guidance to streamline my promotion track versus following a set career path.”
In her new role, she anticipates calling on all of the presentation skills she honed in her business communication and capstone courses. “Even after receiving my offer letter for my most recent promotion, I was able to use some of the negotiation skills I learned in Barry Goldman’s negotiations course to obtain a few additional benefits.”
Going forward, she hopes to gain new perspective on the corporate customer team. “I would like to pursue management roles, leading to a position that combines both sales and marketing functions,” she said.
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