Interning At Grizzly Sales Force: Na’Deja’s Story

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Ambition
/amˈbiSH(ə)n/

Some people have it, and some don’t. At Grizzly Sales Force, when we say someone “has ambition,” we don’t mean they just discovered this magical quality within themselves and tried out for the day, we mean it courses through their veins, probably since childhood, and has guided every step they took personally and professionally. When we talk about ambition, we’re talking about Na’Deja Brantley, marketing/sales intern here at Grizzly Salesforce.

Born in Jackson, MS and raised in Memphis, Na’Deja grew up a product of a loving family and sandwiched between an older sister and a younger brother!! Influenced heavily by her father, Na’Deja quickly took to sports and used her natural athleticism to excel in activities like soccer, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball, and softball. Favoring basketball and volleyball, Na’Deja continued her athletic career into high school and learned extremely valuable lessons about teamwork, discipline, and practice that she would later apply to her internship at Grizzly Sales Force.

Starting at the University of Memphis in 2014, Na’Deja went in wanting to pursue architecture and interior design! Fortunately, a semester of classes helped her realize that was not the career path she wanted and she quickly chose Graphic Design as her new field of interest! A passion for art fueled this decision and now just a semester shy of graduation, Na’Deja continues to strive towards her Bachelors!

Meeting the Grizzly Sales Force team at a career fair held at the University of Memphis, Na’Deja recalls seeing the internship advertised as a great opportunity to get some marketing experience under her belt before graduation. As so much of graphic design is about inspiring and informing consumers, Na’Deja knew that experience with face-to-face marketing would be of great benefit to her.

She was right, and 6 months into her internship Na’Deja is surpassing every expectation we’ve set for her and wowed us with her ambitious nature and go-getter attitude. Despite being in school full-time and being active on campus, through organizations such as “Setting The Standards” and “Tiger Records,” Na’Deja makes time to learn and grow continuously in her internship and our company.

With aspirations of pursuing modeling and graphic design more seriously after graduation, Na’Deja focuses on improving her time management, communications, and ability to work with a wide variety of personalities. Thanking CEO, Mike Figueroa, Jr, newest manager, Tandy, and Assistant Manager, Ciarra, for their leadership and coaching, Na’Deja is confident that her time at Grizzly Sales Force has been one of the most valuable learning lessons during her collegiate career.

In her free time, Na’Deja LOVES to catch up on Power, The Walking Dead, and with her mom. Calling her mom “her best friend” and her dad “her inspiration,” Na’Deja’s ambition drives her to make these two proud every day. We’re so glad that she has been able to do that with us here at Grizzly Sales Force and can’t wait to see how she continues to grow over the next months before graduation. Congratulations, Na’Deja, on your accomplishments so far and may your ambition continue to carry you forth far in life!

Leaving Behind an Empire: Account Manager Wil Skelton

Individuals from all backgrounds, college degrees, and work experiences can excel in a career at Grizzly Sales Force. Account Manager Wil Skelton is a prime example of this. Though he is a newer addition to our team, Wil has quickly made a name for himself in our company.

Describing himself as a “Mama’s Boy”, Wil grew up in Greenville, Mississippi as an only child. He has always been heavily involved in sports and loves being a part of a team environment. When Wil was younger, he mostly played basketball, baseball, and soccer. During high school, Will added track, football, and golf to that list. Helping his football team win the state championship in 2011 and his track team win it the following year, it is evident that Wil plays to win.

After high school, Wil attended Ole Miss as a Criminal Justice major but later transferred to Mississippi State University. Following in his father’s footsteps, Wil changed his major to Mechanical Engineering, but he soon encountered the financial hardships that come with pursuing higher education. Wil decided that he would rather work hard for the money rather than to have it borrowed or given to him; he was determined to prove to others that he was capable of supporting himself.

Wil applied to many different companies online, including Grizzly Sales Force. He received a call from our Human Resources Department and was offered the opportunity to interview here. He was open to moving out of Greenville, so he pursued the open position at Grizzly Sales Force in Memphis, TN. Wil enjoyed his preliminary interview with our CEO, Mike Figueroa, Jr, and how Mike explained the opportunity: you get out exactly what you put in. Even though Wil had zero sales, customer service, or business experience, he proved to our management team at Grizzly Sales Force that he was willing to step outside his comfort zone, and he was determined to be his own boss and control his own destiny.

In just one month of working at Grizzly Sales Force, Wil is rapidly advancing within our firm’s Management Training Program. He was promoted from our entry-level position into an Account Management role within 2 weeks of starting here! Wil is currently learning the training process and is excited to start to move into a leadership role, where he will be teaching and developing others. When asked what he loves most about working with Grizzly Sales Force, Wil answered, “I love the work environment and the support from our team. It is impossible to have a bad day when everyone is so motivated and willing to help you succeed.”

Why did Wil choose a career that was unrelated to his field of study? He liked that the advancement is based on performance; the harder you work, the quicker you move up. Wil wants to leave behind an empire, make an impression on others, and create a “chain reaction” of opportunity. The biggest lesson he has learned while working at Grizzly Sales Force to never lose your attitude. It is important to keep your energy level up because customers aren’t going to want to talk to you if you’re negative!

In his spare time, Wil enjoys playing sports-related video games, such NBA 2K and Madden. He also likes to play golf when the weather is nice. What you may not know about Wil is that he enjoys listening to Taylor Swift when he needs a good pick-me-up song! His greatest mentor is his Grandfather, describing him as responsible and good with money. “He’s the type of person I want to be,” says Wil.

Grizzly Sales Force is incredibly proud to have Wil on its team. Finding an individual that has a tenacious work ethic and is willing to do whatever it takes to be successful can be rare, but we easily find this in Wil. We will leave you with one of Wil’s favorite quotes by Kobe Bryant:

Those time when you get up early… those times when you stay up late… when you’re too tired… you don’t want to push yourself, but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream.

 

Call it a Plan: Grizzly Sales Force’s New Manager, Tandy

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The culture at Grizzly Sales Force is often described as tight knit and unified. For family oriented individuals, such as our new manager, Tandy, this type of environment is a great fit both professionally and personally. During his time at Grizzly Sales Force, Tandy has demonstrated values such as unity and camaraderie – values that were instilled in him at a young age.

Born in the St. James Parish of Montego Bay, Jamaica, in a place called Barrett Town, Tandy has always been very close to his relatives. He grew up with a passion for drawing cartoons and scenery and a love for playing percussion instruments. Tandy even played drums for his church’s band and his high school’s band! While attending William Knibb Memorial High School, Tandy built picture frames and saving jars out of wood and then marketed and sold them to his peers, proving that he is an entrepreneur a heart!

In addition to his craftsmanship, Tandy was a track and field star, where he was mostly a dash runner because he loved to go fast and keep his eye on the prize! In addition to running, Tandy played soccer as a forward. His love for athletics would later become extremely useful in the development of his leadership and team building skills at Grizzly Sales Force.

After finishing his senior year of high school, Tandy participated in the William Knibb Memorial’s greater education program, where he studied architectural engineering for 2 years. He decided to leave school to run his own carpentry firm with his cousin. Tandy also obtained a job working for Delta airlines and balanced that job with his carpentry work; he worked for Delta during day and did carpentry at night for close to 3 years!

Tandy migrated to the United States in 2012 to Orlando, FL. He made a close friend quickly and the two of them ran a “Golden Crust” franchise, a restaurant that serves authentic Jamaican cuisine. During this time, Tandy was blessed with a beautiful baby girl named Robyn in 2014, who presently lives in Orlando with her mother.

Later that year in 2014, Tandy was presented with the opportunity to move to Nashville to partner with his brother and start a catering company named “Nashville Island Cuisine”. For a few years, the brothers enjoyed running the company together, but ultimately, the business wasn’t as profitable as they hoped.

Tandy began searching for new career opportunities outside of the food industry. In the summer of 2016, he came across a LinkedIn job posting for a private marketing and sales firm in Nashville. Tandy was intrigued by the opportunity and the merit based advancement structure; a career that emphasizes rewarding hard work was exactly what he was looking for!

Just a couple of months after Tandy started his new marketing and sales career in Nashville, news broke out that our client, DirecTV, would be expanding into Memphis. Our now CEO, Mike Figueroa, would be overseeing the Memphis market and asked Tandy if he would be interested in moving to Memphis with him to open Grizzly Sales Force. Tandy recalls, “Mike had open arms for a soldier like me, and I was down for whatever!”

Right away, Tandy fell in love with Memphis. Just 3 months after he started working in Memphis, Tandy reached the qualifications for Assistant Management! How did he do it so quickly? Tandy remembers, “I was very intentional about everything. I was a man on a mission. I believed in myself and my team.” Tandy also had (and still has) a “vision mirror,” where he writes down his goals on his bathroom mirror. Tandy laughs, “I like looking good, but I love seeing my goals even better!”

Now officially a manager within Grizzly Sales Force, Tandy will be opening his own consulting firm in Grand Rapids, Michigan by late January, representing another multi-billion dollar telecommunications client. When Tandy received word that Grand Rapids was an open market for the client, Tandy checked it out, and he loved it! While visiting the area, he experienced the great culture and welcoming people of Grand Rapids!

Besides opening his new company, Tandy has plans to found a non-profit organization called “Fambily Guyz” – Fambily being the Jamaican word for Family. The organization will create healthier relationships in the household, especially for teenagers and their parents. Being the family oriented individual that Tandy is (he even calls himself a “Momma’s Boy”), effective communication and strong relationships amongst family members are crucial for him.

Grizzly Sales Force is incredibly proud of what Tandy has accomplished while working with our firm. Our team is excited to see his continued success running his own office in Grand Rapids. 2018 is YOUR year, Tandy!

 

Grizzly Sales Force’s Newest Assistant Manager: Ciarra Jones

From the moment we met her, we knew Ciarra was special. It’s no wonder that we are celebrating her promotion to Assistant Management just one year after her starting with Grizzly Sales Force. It takes determination to excel within our company – a characteristic Ciarra has been developing her whole life.

IMG_6366Born and raised in Springfield, a small town outside of Nashville, Ciarra learned independence at a very young age. She played softball and basketball growing up and was in color guard throughout high school. Being the hard worker she is, Ciarra took her first job at age 15; she rolled newspapers for the Tennessean! Ciarra says that she has always been super outgoing and even won the “Social Butterfly” vote by her high school peers! During her senior year, Ciarra applied to Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and was accepted into the Mass Communications program.

Ciarra had plans to leave her tiny hometown behind and attend MTSU straight out of high school. She learned quickly that things don’t always go according to plan when life threw her a curveball, and she found out that she was pregnant with her son, Jayden. Ciarra decided that she had to do what was best for her and her son by staying close to home. Still ambitious to get a higher education degree, Ciarra attended Volunteer State Community College where she received an Associates Degree in Dental Hygiene.

After working as a Dental Hygienist for a while, Ciarra realized that she “didn’t want to clean teeth for the rest of her life” and began to pursue other career options. She applied to many places online, one of them being a private marketing and sales firm in Nashville. She was extended several job offers, but this particular marketing and sales firm made the best first impression on her, and Ciarra firmly believes that “first impressions are everything.”

IMG_6360What she loved most about her new marketing and sales career was the positive environment and how it boosted her confidence tremendously. After working in Nashville for about a month, Ciarra was presented with the opportunity to become part of our client’s expansion into Memphis. Enter Grizzly Sales Force. Our CEO, Mike Figueroa Jr, was hopeful that Ciarra would move to Memphis to help him found Grizzly Sales Force. She didn’t have to think twice about the offer; Ciarra had always wanted to venture outside the Nashville area and live somewhere new!

Ciarra is more than satisfied with her decision to move to Memphis. Since working at Grizzly Sales Force, she has learned various leadership skills, such as how to deal with different types of people. Ciarra says that Grizzly Sales Force has also helped her grow personally, as she has learned to let her guard down and take emotion out of decision making. The biggest lesson Ciarra has learned is to believe in yourself and don’t be afraid of greatness

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Ciarra’s pride and joy is her son, Jayden. She says, “He is my main source of motivation; everything I do and every sacrifice I make is for him.” Ciarra describes Jayden as incredibly smart, funny, loving, and energetic. Having her son at a young age, Ciarra and Jayden have always had a strong bond. Ciarra is committed to setting the best example for him and give him the greatest life possible. All of the hard work she is putting in now at Grizzly Sales Force is so she and Jayden can have financial freedom and the freedom to go anywhere and do anything they desire.

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How did Ciarra reach the qualifications for Assistant Management? She feels very fortunate to have so many mentors at Grizzly Sales Force. She says that Mike believed in her from the day she stepped into the office in Nashville, and has never stopped. Ciarra describes our other Assistant Manager, Tandy, as “The Ying to her Yang”. She says that Corporate Trainers Michael, Robert, and Kiki are her cheerleader, her right hand guy, and her “executioner” – respectively. Ciarra says, “My team doesn’t work for me; I work for them. I put them in the position to win, set them up for success, and remind them to never give up.”

Stay tuned for pictures from Ciarra’s Assistant Management Promotion party coming out this week on our YouTube channel!

No Excuses, No Limits: Corporate Trainer Grant Gray

2208x1656.jpeg.17fed276e16e49df871ce397c33ad82e.large“You can have results or excuses, but not both.” This is a mantra that our team and Grizzly Sales Force lives by, especially Corporate Trainer Grant Gray. Though he is a new addition to our team, Grant has already set multiple sales records, helped others get promoted, and attended a national leadership seminar!

Born and raised in Memphis, TN Grant has always understood the importance of resilience and pushing past life’s obstacles. As a child, Grant says he was “all of the place” and “always had to be doing something.” He said he got bored easily, so he didn’t like sitting still. Throughout high school, Grant was a basketball player, wrestler, and even a musician!

1688x2250.jpeg.9dfc29b6410242d692fac8b76f01fca0.largeAfter high school graduation, Grant attended the University of Memphis, where he helped found the university’s first ever wrestling team! He started college as a Health and Human Sciences major but later switched to Communications and Journalism. A new college graduate, Grant searched for an internship related to his field as study, but all of the internships were unpaid, and he need one that would provide compensation. He ended up working in the restaurant industry but soon found that no matter how much harder he worked than other employees, he was still paid the same amount. Grant yearned for a  career where he could advance based on his own personal performance and get paid for what he is worth.

1242x1231.jpeg.0a079c96e9a3436598830245181ff68c.largeGrant searched online for career opportunities and came across Grizzly Sales Force on LinkedIn. He was intrigued by the competitive culture and advancement opportunities that the position advertised. Grant applied to the job posting and was soon called by our Department of Human Resources and invited in for a preliminary interview with our CEO, Mike Figueroa Jr. After interviewing with Mike, Grant was very excited about the merit based advancement structure that Grizzly Sales Force offered. He was invited back to for a second interview with our Assistant Manager, Robert, where he had the chance to shadow the job and see what a typical day looks like.

Later that evening, Grant received good news from our HR Department – Grizzly Sales Force wanted him as its newest team member! Grant accepted the position with open arms, as he was ready for a career with uncapped compensation and performance based growth.

1691x2250.jpeg.791ec824a6084bd48050d32965b399b8.largeSince Grant started with our company 2 months ago, he has broken the company record of the setting up the most customer accounts in a week. (He set up 33 accounts!) He was recently ranked #1 by our client out of 1,200 marketing and sales representatives across the country – three weeks in a row! Grant has also traveled to Nashville, TN to help train other  representatives in our industry. He’s even attended a national leadership seminar in Atlanta, GA, where he learned from our brokerage firm’s top executives!

Congratulations to Grant on being selected for Grizzly Sales Force‘s featured team member this month; we can’t wait to see him start to train and develop new team members and continue to grow within our company! To keep up with Grant and the entire team at Grizzly Sales Force, follow us on Instagram!

Interviewing 101 with Grizzly Sales Force

We’ve all been there – nervous, excited, worried, stressed, and hopeful. We scurry up to a building (after circling the area for 20 minutes trying to find it) with sweaty palms, clenching onto the resume that we desperately printed out at Kinko’s 10 minutes earlier because our printer wouldn’t connect to WiFi, and the ink was low. We fill out a form in the lobby, wondering what the person we are about to see will think of our frazzled hair that the Memphis humidity just destroyed. Yes, we are talking about interviewing!

While interviewing can be frightful for most, the best way to ease anxiety is through preparation and awareness. Read along as Grizzly Sales Force shares its 6 best interviewing tips for job seekers to ace their next interview!

1. Be prepared and on time.

While it’s understandable that life has its own way of bringing chaos into its most important moments, first impressions are everything. Showing up to an interview late without a resume is an immediate turn-off for employers. Also, prepare for your interview by researching the organization, so you’re not going in completely blind to what the company does.

2. Dress to impress.

Ever heard the saying “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have?” Live by this. Employers immediately notice when an interviewee dresses sharp. They appreciate that the person took the time to look his/her absolute best!

3. Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all.

Employers are interested in your background and work experience, but they also want to know what new skills you wish to gain and in which areas you would like improve. They brought you in for an interview because they felt you were qualified, so now it’s time to show them how this position will help you reach your career goals!

4. Keep it professional.

Whether the interview setting is formal or casual, remember that it is still an interview. Avoid over-sharing personal information, as this may come off as unprofessional to the employer. Again, first impressions are everything; if you’re questioning the professionalism about what you’re about to say, it’s probably best to not say it. In conjunction, if you have anything poor to say about your previous company or position, don’t!

5. Ask about the company culture.

You should feel comfortable in the environment you work in, so make sure the culture is a good fit. Does the company has special team events? Do they participate in charity projects? Is it a tight-knit community or do people mostly keep to themselves? These are all great questions to ask!

6. Thank the interviewer for their time in person and again via email.

Before you leave, shake the interviewer’s hand, thank them for their time, and ask for a business card. Later, send a thank you email to the interviewer (hence, the reason for obtaining their card), whether or not you felt the position was right for you. People appreciate knowing that you value their time!

Whether you’re a recent college graduate or a professional looking for a career change, excellent interview etiquette is a must! Do you have more interviewing tips? Post them in the comments below! For more professional advice, check out Grizzly Sales Force’s boards on Pinterest!

New Year’s Resolutions Video

“Happy New Year” – Grizzly Sales Force

The Grizzly Sales Force team has made new year’s resolutions to welcome 2017! Watch our YouTube video to get inspiration for your very own resolutions! Subscribe to our channel to get updates on our monthly video uploads about what’s going on in the office. Enjoy our blogs and watch our videos to get to know more about Grizzly Sales Force!