Born for Sales
Dana Kline, Eller Marketing ’15
By Jessica Baker, Eller Marketing ’15
The University of Arizona was the obvious choice for Dana Kline, daughter of two Eller graduates. “Being Wildcat alumni, my parents just wouldn’t pay for me to go to ASU,” she joked. Upon graduating from Saguaro High School, Kline was offered a scholarship to the UA, which cemented her decision to attend the school, as well as factoring in a beautiful campus that allowed her to “feel out of state, but still close to home.”
UA turned out to be much more than simply following in her parents’ footsteps, and initially, Kline was driven to succeed as an orthodontist. “I shadowed and worked in dental offices all throughout high school and my first two years of college,” she explained. “But eventually I realized that what I liked about the profession was the relationships I could build, and helping patients feel better and more confident.”
Upon completing her prerequisites for a business minor, Kline realized that she could build the professional relationships that she enjoyed without being an orthodontist. “I recognized that business is about creative solutions to problems, which lead me to marketing and more specifically, sales.”
Her junior year at the University, Kline switched her major to marketing and applied to Eller. “I applied later than my peers, so I knew I needed to be looking for internships as I was applying for professional admission,” she said. “I found Procter & Gamble after they came for an information session.”
“With the help of alumna Lauren Kuehner, who had previously completed the internship I was applying for, I was able to prepare my cover letter and resume as well as gain tips to prepare for the interview,” Kline said. Her efforts did not go unrecognized, as she was able to secure the internship for the summer of 2014.
Leading up to her internship, Kline continued her hard work. Upon acceptance into Eller, she began the Eller Professional Sales Club with two fellow students. In subsequent years they were able to grow the club from three members to over 100. With the start of the club came Eller’s first participation in the National Collegiate Sales Competition in over 10 years. Kline was one of six students to attend the competition in Atlanta, Georgia. She had also been a member of AdCats Student Advertising Club since she became interested in business. “These experiences gave me a holistic approach to business, advertising, sales and marketing,” she explained. “I was able to gain an entire picture of what’s available.”
During her internship with Procter & Gamble, Kline was assigned to the Oral Care Category selling to Walmart. “I created a comprehensive merchandising plan for Crest, Scope, and Oral B. I had the opportunity to create end of aisle displays as well as price points and advertising strategies.” Her ideas can now be seen in various Walmarts, including Tucson locations. “I never thought I could take on such a huge project and be so successful, and now all the work I’ve done is tangible and it’s exciting to see,” she said.
At the conclusion of her internship, Kline was given the opportunity to present her project and its impact in front of Procter & Gamble and Walmart executives. August 2014, she received an offer from the company to work full-time upon graduation in May 2015. “It was like the Super Bowl of internships, I was selling from the biggest supplier to the biggest retailer in the world, and I couldn’t have gotten that experience anywhere else.”
“Taking on something as potentially overwhelming as changing majors with one year of school left can be terrifying, but I was determined to take it on, and stay positive throughout the experience,” she continued. Through perseverance and hard work, she was able to obtain her dream job at Procter & Gamble. “My glass isn’t half empty, or half full,” she said, “it’s overflowing.”
Top image of UA mall at dusk courtesy University Relations.