Danielle’s first job hunt after college was a blur. After realizing she didn’t have as much of a passion for the field she graduated in, it was time to pivot her career journey. It wasn’t until she discovered the B2B Sales Development Program that she found her calling.
“If you understand people, you can sell. If you can do sales, you can do anything in the company.” Danielle’s reasoning turned out to be truer than she could have expected.
The first step to a technical career
“I thought the program was about, you know, cell phones. When I transferred to Atlanta for training, I realized Telecom was a lot more than that. What we really sell are business solutions that connect people, protect data and mobilize critical functions, all powered by AT&T’s hardwired and wireless technologies.”
That epiphany was Danielle’s first step towards unlocking the potential of a technical sales career. Since she started in 2011, businesses emphasized the digitization of their products. Many of the apps we take for granted (or lose in our cluttered phone menus) were just starting to pick up steam. When Danielle finished her and returned to Portland, she quickly understood her unique position as a technical sales expert.
“As I increased my technical expertise, my ability to simply articulate value to the customer increased. You have to understand what you’re selling, or you’ll never get to the top. My career transformed ever since I realized that.”
Familiar, yet new
“LaKendra Davis was my first manager in the sales program, and I was super open with her. Being a first-generation college graduate coming from a long line of active duty military veterans, I had never seen someone who looked like me command the type of respect that she did. Coming from a very male dominated background, I was inspired enough to tell her, ‘I want to be like you one day.’
“LaKendra invested in me, offering counsel and guidance based on her experiences. She led with trust that allowed her to be transparent. Her insights were critical to me as a young professional looking to establish a professional network and personal brand. Through LaKendra, Danielle was introduced to Pamela Osborne who became a close mentor and advocate for Barnett. “I was humbled that they took the time to learn more about me and provide guidance and support based on their experience.”
Through Davis and Osborne, Danielle became involved with Employee Groups like oxyGEN, AT&T Women of Business and The NETwork – our African American Employee Group and the oldest in the company. In 2019, while attending The NETwork 50th Anniversary Conference in Washington D.C., Danielle networked with senior leaders.
Moving forward in a technical career
“Having those face-to-face conversations opened a lot more doors for me. The people are the whole reason I came back to AT&T. You need intention, of course. Networking without intention might come off as self-serving. It’s all about how you do it: What is your work ethic like? Your exposure? It all goes back to performance and how you invest in your career. Travel to conferences – for career growth or meeting others – champion your mentors, and actually invest, and you’ll be surprised on the return.”View openings for Technical Sales Careers