“It's important for women to remember that selling requires a connection with the client beyond the contract. Interpersonal skills are what we excel at. Combine them with confident, aggressive negotiating skills and you are a top salesperson in the making.”
“All of my high school work experience—head football coach’s assistant, athletic director’s student liaison, weightlifting tournament coordinator, and golf tournament assistant director—had revolved around sports,” says Cheri Cox, a senior who is majoring in Sport Management, but who had first considered a major in pharmacy.
Cheri’s switch-decision turns out to have been a wise one. “My passion is not necessarily for the activity of sport, but the unique product and business of sport.” And she has benefited from opportunities to gain ‘real world’ experience. “The Sport Management Conference introduced me to the non-profit sector of sports and enabled me to work for the Florida Sports Foundation, the official sports promotion and development organization of the State of Florida. I began as an intern. Later, I was brought back as an executive assistant to Grants, Special Programs, and Events. I absolutely enjoy my job—the people, work, atmosphere, and dynamics are almost unbeatable.”
Last summer Cheri worked for the corporate partnerships/sales division of Orlando Magic, which, she says, “led me to a clear idea of my career goals—working for a large company with a diverse staff. The Magic always makes sure its employees know that they are appreciated and always stress the significance of feeling like a small family in a large corporate office.”
She is not at all concerned about being a female in a male-dominated industry. “I can take the upper hand because sadly sometimes the expectation of me is low, which makes it easier to amaze someone who has underestimated me. It’s important for women to remember that selling requires a connection with the client beyond the contract. Interpersonal skills are what we excel at. Combine them with confident, aggressive negotiating skills and you are a top salesperson in the making.”
Leadership positions in two campus student organizations have taught her much. Her time with “Golden Key is irreplaceable. I have had to perfect my interpersonal communication and delegation skills and acquire patience while working with an Executive Board of 15 ranging from ages 20-40. Serving on the Executive Board of the Seminole Student Boosters taught me the importance of passion and dedication.”
Traveling to Dresden, Germany through the Beyond Borders Program immersed Cheri in an unfamiliar situation, which, she says, “forced me to learn independence, cooperation, and understanding. Through a busy agenda of countless activities, we learned about German culture, and I saw the difference from our own—we strive to improve everything (meanwhile locking memories away), whereas Germans try hard to preserve history so as to learn from it.”
Her college career nearing its end, Cheri is busy seeking opportunities with the National Basketball Association in Corporate/Premium Sales/Activation. Being a realist regarding the limited positions available, she’s also created plans B, C, and D—Golf Tournament Marketing and Media, non-profit Marketing-based-Management, and Teach for America.