SPC is committed to identifying and developing the next generation of printing industry professionals. Our very successful internship program is a great source of pride for us. #JakesTake is a fresh perspective from a young professional who is a product of that program. Jake Wendell is now on a path to sales at SPC. He graduated in May 2020 from Western Michigan University (WMU) with a Graphic and Printing Science major and General Business minor. His summers of 2018 and 2019 were spent interning with us, first in the rotational program and then as a Sales Service Assistant in 2019. Every quarter, Jake will reflect and share his perspective on significant and timely industry topics. Follow along as he grows and develops his passion for print and uncovers new opportunities to integrate innovative technology with direct mail for the best end-to-end solutions for SPC’s clients.
You can also Check out Jake’s previous blogs about his past experiences with SPC.
Respect is Earned
Education is a value SPC holds close to its core. Because SPC has had a long-standing university partnership with WMU, they were already on my radar when I planned to attend the job fair my sophomore year. Being part of a company that is passionate about nurturing the next generation of print professionals and staying current with the industry’s education system was important to me. I was younger than the usual candidate for an internship with SPC, but my college experiences prepared me to join the SPC family for that upcoming summer.
Throughout my time in college, I gained a handful of beneficial experiences that helped shape the start of my career with SPC. Aside from my interactive education, I created a strong foundation to kick-start my career through extracurricular activities. In addition to my two internships with SPC, I stayed active in a business fraternity, lead a men’s club volleyball team as President, and held other responsibilities within my program. These collective activities helped strengthen my professional communication and leadership skills—both great qualities to have in a future sales position.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned throughout my time in college was this: respect is never given, but rather earned. Seeking out those kinds of growth experiences allowed me to practice building trust as a peer and therefore respect as a leader. I became a Teaching Assistant during my freshman year, which posed some challenges with the older students in those classes. However, by setting the expectations for students and myself from the start, the remainder of college as a T.A. was a breeze. That experience prepared me to become an employee SPC can trust and respect.
Creating a Tangible Career Path
SPC took the time to nurture my professional career and continues to do just that. They gave me a voice at the start by providing me the opportunity to travel to New York City for client meetings. Talk about a great learning experience! This inspired me to focus more on outside sales and demonstrated how to successfully create solutions for our customers. SPC listened to my career goals and created a tangible path that could lead me to my desired professional destination.
I was taught at SPC that with sales, you have to be hungry. Hungry for partnerships. Hungry for building industry relationships. Hungry for wins. I demonstrated that I was passionate about this industry, my potential career path and eager to continue learning. Because of my determination, I’ve been placed on the path to becoming a successful Strategic Account Executive with SPC.
During the past eight months, I’ve been learning the ins and outs of production management. What better place to understand a project from start to finish than in Account Management? As I’ve gained experience and trust in this position, I’ve been rewarded with more and more responsibilities. SPC has fostered and guided my passion for print so that I can become a sales rep who is well-versed in the umbrella of capabilities SPC offers while beginning to understand the nuances of delivering complete customer satisfaction leading to long term relationships.
Progress into New Opportunities
I’ve always been confident in my ability to work through a challenge. From an early age, sports and their competitive nature have taught me how to properly face challenges thrown my way. Now, SPC is teaching me how to channel my competitive nature into a successful sales career in print. The motivation to win and work hard is now supported by the ability to earn a living. This will translate well as I continue my journey to sales facing every day challenges and learning as I go.
I am enthusiastic about my future with SPC as a Strategic Accounts Executive! The goal of bringing new connections and accounts to the company are my primary drivers. Ensuring I stay connected to new clients, travel to their locations and create and build mutual partnerships with current clients will certainly help make success in my new position a reality.
SPC continues to provide me with the tools I need to be successful and I can’t wait to grow into the new and exciting experiences that will lead to a successful sales career in print.
Associate Account Manager