Sept. 13, 2016
What Aniya Gaynor likes most about working at Textron Specialized Vehicles isn’t that she gets to manage golf cart sales for all the courses in southwestern North Carolina and northern South Carolina, or that she gets to spend most of her work day behind the wheel of one of her vehicles. What she likes most is that the company seems genuinely invested in its employees.
“Knowing that there’s a company standing behind you that’s willing to give you opportunities and watch you learn is a really great feeling,” Gaynor said.
The 2015 marketing and management graduate from the University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business is now the Fleet Sales Representative at Textron’s Charlotte location, giving her the opportunity to build the kind of customer relationships that mirror the one she has with the company.
“Sales is very much relationship-driven,” she said. “Throughout the negotiation process, you really learn a lot about the customers you’re working for, so it’s such a great way to tie in how your business can improve the overall operational function of your customer. I love that problem-solving strategy — finding out exactly what they need while also being profitable for Textron.”
At the Moore School’s fall Business Expo her senior year, Gaynor first interacted with a Textron representative when he directly asked her what she wanted to do with her life. After saying she’d probably go into marketing as that was her major, he said she seemed more like a salesperson and challenged her to deliver a sales pitch on the spot.
“I looked around and saw a bag that a girl next to me was holding and did my best to sell him the bag,” she said. “After I finished giving him the pitch, he asked me if I wanted to come down for an interview.”
Gaynor jumped on board two weeks later.
After joining Textron, she spent three short months in their typically 18-month development program before being offered her current position.
“I’d be lying if I said I was prepared or anywhere close to ready for it,’ Gaynor said, “but the great thing about Textron is that they truly believe in the development of young professionals, and they’ll throw you into it head first.”
Despite her quick placement, Gaynor says the most challenging thing for any young professional is understanding patience. In college, she says, you’re considered an expert in a class after studying it for three months. In the sales world, it can take up to a year to get a single deal done.
“I’m constantly challenged and constantly learning,” she said. “I’m adapting to slowing down, being patient, asking questions and really understanding that the role I have takes a significant amount of time to become comfortable with.”
Gaynor has found a place at Textron and hopes to lead other Moore School students to find the same. She and some of her Textron colleagues will be here recruiting at the Moore School’s Textron Day on Thursday, Sept. 15.
By Madeleine Vath