1. What was your major/minor and when did you graduate?
I graduated Cum Laude in 2016 with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.
2. What is your current position (title, company, location)? Can you describe a typical day?
I am an Architectural Design & Sales Associate for TileBar, based in Manhattan, but I work remotely in Atlanta. I call on architects and designers, show them the different products TileBar offers, and get them to specify the product on different projects they work on.
Think about the building you are currently in, an interior designer hand picked everything in that building. From the color of the wall, to the flooring, and everything else in between, someone represents all of those products.
My day starts by posting on my work Instagram account (@paige_tileatl) about a particular tile I have chosen to share that day. Throughout the day, I add photos to my story from presentations, pictures from clients, an eye-catcher or mood-lightener. The majority of my day is spent driving around metro Atlanta where I typically have two formal presentations for designers. During the presentation, we review new products, and discuss ongoing projects. I then update the design library, adding new products from the meeting. As well, I tend to have one informal meeting, where I meet a designer for coffee, lunch or dinner to get know them better outside of the office. Part of the informal meeting is spent talking about projects, and the rest is spent getting to know one another. In between meetings, I go by different design firms to drop-off samples designers have requested for different projects. Each day varies on how many drop-offs I have, but a normal day has about 3-5. During each sample drop-off, I go into the office, meet with the designer to talk about the project, and see if the samples they requested are a good fit. While in the office, other designers pull me aside to make requests for projects they are working on too. At the end of the day, I head over to my storage unit to load up the car for the next day. I will also answer any emails or phone calls I was unable to get to during the day. Finally, I report my day on our CRM and put my expenses in for that day.
3. How did your major prepare you for your current job?
Business Communication taught me how to effectively communicate with designers and architects. When reaching out to new firms, it’s important to focus on not only why TileBar is great and all the things we do well, but also more importantly what TileBar does that solves a designer’s problem to make their life easier.
4. How did you become interested in your field?
Throughout my life I had always enjoyed interior design. I grew up around the tile industry because my mom is a rep and developed an interest in the field. Each summer during college, I interned at tile factories in Italy. During these internships, I learned about the production, marketing, and sales of the product. One summer I assisted in creating my own brick tile, which showed me that I wanted to stay in the industry for good. I tend to joke that I did not choose tile, but, rather, it chose me.
5. What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Pick up the phone and call. Yes, we live in the age of technology and email. Email is great, you have an automatic paper trail/reference point although several times an email exchange could have been a 5-minute phone conversation followed up over email. Phone calls also give you the opportunity to get to know someone that you work with on a daily basis on a deeper level. You easily can tell the type of day they are having, and can get to know them beyond your computer screen. This might help you work better together overall.
6. Was there a professor, advisor, or fellow student who made an impression on you or helped you when you were at UMW?
Lynn Richardson made a lasting impression by pushing me to do more outside the classroom and tennis court. Her advice and guidance helped open my eyes to the importance of getting involved with and going to activities the COB put on. This allowed me to gain hands on experience outside of class.
7. What’s your fondest memory of UMW?
Meeting my best friend, Maggie Harper (Milette) ’15 in class. I’ll never forget my junior year, which was Maggie’s senior year, when we had class together and realized we both lived at the apts. Finally, one of us approached the other, and we started talking on the way back from class. Now almost five years later, I do not believe I have gone a day without talking to Maggie. Maggie ended up moving down to Athens, Georgia, meaning I got to take my best friend home with me!
8. Are there any special accomplishments you’ve achieved after college that you’d like to share?
- Triple Peach Award Winner (Peachtree Road Race 10K, 10 Miler, and Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon) in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
- Qualified for sales trip to Toronto while at TransPerfect based on sales goals being met in 2017.
- Coast to Coast Medal for completing Disney Princess Half Marathon and Tinkerbell Half Marathon in Disney World and Disneyland.
- Featured on 11Alivewith my brother, Evan, who has autism. He is a swag bag stuffer for the Peachtree Road Race with the gifts that participants receive once they finish the race. He is the only swag bag stuffer who also runs the race each year. We have run multiple races together since he began running after participating in the Special Olympics. It means a lot to me to see that he succeeds in all the races he runs and the joy that he takes from completing each one, especially the Peachtree, Evan’s all-time favorite.
9. How would your family or friends describe you in seven words or less?
10. In one sentence, what advice would you give current business students?
Challenge yourself to do more than what is asked of you inside the classroom, and realize there are several others across the country graduating with your major; why should someone hire you over the person sitting next to you at graduation.