Up Close with Donna Rae Sutherland

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Donna Rae Sutherland (Left) and Ellen (right)

Donna Rae Sutherland (Left) and Ellen (right)

On Wednesday October 30th, 2013 in the Profession Sales class taught by Mr. Dudkowski, we were introduced to our guest speaker Donna Rae Sutherland. You may have heard of her, because she produced ad campaigns for Genesee Community College here in Batavia, NY. She changed the whole dynamic of what Genesee Community College was about and brought it to the modern age.

Quick Facts about Donna Rae Sutherland:
• Graduated high school in 1978 and moved to San Francisco at the age of 17.
• Certified in Graphic Arts and went to Villa Maria College.
• Earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Syracuse University.
• She studied magazine journalism and had a minor in graphic arts as well.
• 30 years of experience in communications.
• She has never been unemployed.
• She has worked at Genesee Community College for 10 years.
• She is the Associate Director of Marketing at Genesee Community College (MarCom)
• She receives approximately 5 sales calls per day, making 25 calls per week totaling to 100 calls per month.

After she shared about herself and what she has accomplished she told the class great advice that can be taken by anyone in the world in the professional sales business. I made sure I wrote down key advice because it can become helpful in the future!

Helpful Tips from Donna Rae Sutherland:
• Do your homework.  When going to a job interview always do your homework on the company, what the company is about etc.
• You’re going to have to sell yourself at an interview. Selling yourself at an interview means making sure you can persuade the person interviewing you why they should hire you. You should also discuss what you can contribute to the company etc.
• You have 10 seconds to make your first impression. It’s a true fact. You have 10 seconds to make a good first impression to a potential employer.
• Dress for success and to impress. Dress appropriately going to a job interview. Nothing showing too much skin, as well as nothing that may offend someone. Ex: Do not sag your pants; do not show cleavage, if you have tattoos it’s best to cover them up if you can cover them up. You want to present a clean respectful image.
• Connect with people. If you can connect with your potential employer do so. Take a look around their office if you see something that you two may have in common, mention it. But keep it short.
• Most important thing to keep in mind is “How can you help them?” When in an interview always keep an answer of the question how can you help them if you get the job. You can say you can help increase sales; you have good communication skills with people and so forth.
• Develop people skills. Develop skills on communicating with a customer, an employer etc. Learn to be confident when approaching someone and if you get rejected always be respectful and don’t give up.
• Patience Pays Off. Always be patient even in the most difficult situations.
• Build Repeat Business. Always make sure you build repeat business with a customer. Keep in contact with the customer.

• Be Relevant! Be Creative! Be Fun!

She also talked about the whole process of changing of the Genesee Community College logo. She also discussed what it took to get the advertising strategies. For example, the TV campaigns Genesee Community College produces, what the “GCC’s Many Faces Going Places” means, and what each program a current student is taking means to them. Donna Rae Sutherland works in the Marketing Communications Department also known as MarCom which comes up with the graphics, photography, marketing materials, and social media initiatives for Genesee Community College. It was a great opportunity to meet her and hear what she does for the school and her story. She was a delightful guest speaker who can make an impact on a business major, or someone who is working in the sales field. So thank you Donna Rae Sutherland for coming to the Professional Sales class and speaking to us.

Ellen presenting a gift of appreciation to Donna Rae Sutherland

Ellen presenting a gift of appreciation to Donna Rae Sutherland

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