Career Tails

I Started in Finance. Now I’m Thriving in Sales

What was your starting point at Purina and how did you end up in your current position?

I started out as a PFME (Product Fixed Marketing Expense) Analyst, working with our brand marketing teams (Purina ONE, Cat Chow, P.E.T.) on tracking and analyzing their advertising and promotional spend. After three years, I was promoted to Financial Analyst of our Intermarket Business Group – a group that facilitates the sale of Purina products to numerous Nestlé affiliate countries across the globe. Two years later, I was promoted to a Senior Financial Analyst of Costing and now currently reside as a Business Analyst in our Sales organization, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

What kind of work did you do prior to Purina?

Previously, I was an Internal Auditor for Pinnacle Entertainment. I worked on a team responsible for conducting regulatory and operational audits for the company's casino, hotel, food and beverage operations in Missouri, Mississippi and Indiana. I had some close friends working at Purina, who always had great things to say about the company and how they loved working here. Once an opening in the finance department was posted, it was a no-brainer to apply. I've continued to stay here because of the culture offered by the company and emphasis placed on developing employees. It's the absolute best I have experienced.

What's your favorite part about working at Purina?

I know this is said by many, but one of my favorite perks of working here is that our pets can come to work with us. It helps foster a positive work environment and is a nice reminder each and every day of why I have the passion to work hard for this company.

So, you work in Sales. What are your main responsibilities?

My responsibility is to analyze the Nestlé Purina business at my customer accounts to determine what is driving volume, share, and profit. A good source of this is syndicated data and being able to interpret and tell the story behind that data. Once I determine the insights from the data, I work with my Account Manager to implement these into our business plan with the customer to drive the Nestlé Purina business forward.

How has the company helped you achieve your goals?

Professionally, the company has provided me opportunities to learn in different departments of the organization, as well as grow and advance my career. In my personal life, Purina provides many opportunities to volunteer in the community. One opportunity I took part in was volunteering for the Ferguson Youth Initiative, a non-profit organization centered on promoting positive and healthy experiences for young people residing Ferguson.

What advice would you give a new hire just beginning their career here?

Literally, be a sponge. Soak up and learn as much as you can about how the day-to-day actions in your role affect the business' overall performance. Also seek to understand the same from other people in the company. Lastly, don't hesitate to begin building your network. It will help with learning and development.

Work-life balance is important at Purina. What are you passionate about outside of work?

In the spring and summer, one of my hobbies is working on improving my golf game (or lack thereof). I'm also looking forward to some volunteer opportunities this winter here in Grand Rapids that include becoming a 5th grade basketball coach, as well as a Big Brother in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization of America. I feel it's important to be a positive influence for our youth so they can develop to be successful citizens in the future.



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