What is your current position? Briefly describe what you do.

I am a Market Development Manager at Coca-Cola Refreshments. My job has two parts; Business Development and Account Development. To develop my market I search for new business, open new accounts, and get businesses buying directly from Coca-Cola. I also have a roster of about 300 accounts that I am in charge of developing. Within those accounts my goal is to grow the business with the right product mix, execute trade marketing, and ensure they are compliant with company standards and policies.

What was the best advice that you received while you were an SFU student?

Something that was passed along to me by my father, who does quite a bit of hiring, that stuck with me was that while academics are extremely important, after graduation companies are going to look at your work experience; coops, internships, and part-time jobs, as well as experience in clubs and case competitions, as much or more than your GPA. Companies are interested in well-rounded candidates more than those with a perfect GPA. However, that does not go for all fields; accountants and consultants-to-be, disregard what you just read!

What are the key factors, people, and experiences that got you to where you are today?

I believe my experiences at SFU, as well as not giving up on my dream job, got me to where I am today. I took advantage of the programs available to me while at Beedie; Coop, International Exchange, and clubs. By time I graduated I had worked for Century 21, NBC Olympics, Walt Disney World, in purchasing for a manufacturing firm, done a semester in Ireland, and spent a stint in SMA. This allowed me to have several opportunities upon graduation. While I didn’t get my first choice, a competitive management trainee program Coca-Cola, the job I accepted gave me great experience and skills that got me a job at Coca-Cola 2 years later with a lot more experience under my belt.

Looking back and thinking about your career path, what would you tell your graduating self?

Honesty, besides fitting in some travel before starting work, I finished in December and started in January, I wouldn’t change a thing!

Click here to read more about Katy's co-op experience at NBC Olympics as an Olympics Intern!