Careers After Dedman: Abby Evans ('19)
Hospitality Management, 2019
Regional Manager | Techtronic Industries
On a scale of 1-10, how certain were you (as a student) of the career path you wanted to take?
What was the process that led you to your first job after graduation?
I was very uncertain of what I wanted to pursue after graduating. I knew I enjoyed the hospitality industry and serving others, but wasn't 100% sure if that was the route I was going to take. Luke Hopkins from the business school connected me with someone at my current company just to learn about different opportunities and ultimately ended up liking the idea of bringing my hospitality background to a different industry, such as consumer goods.
Briefly share how you ended up in your career.
I spoke with Luke Hopkins (Marketing Professor and Director of James M. Seneff Honors Program) at an athletics event about what I wanted to do after graduation. He brought up the company Techtronic Industries and connected me with an FSU alumnus who worked there to chat about career opportunities. After learning about the company, I liked the idea of applying my hospitality background in a different industry, such as the consumer goods industry (specifically power tool equipment).
After going through the interview process, I was placed in Atlanta as an Event Marketing Specialist. Six months later, I was promoted to a Field Sales and Marketing Representative. In these two positions I was responsible for selling and marketing our products in Home Depots and hosting large scale demo events to promote brand awareness. After about 14 months with TTI, I was promoted to Territory Manager where I was responsible for an $85 million territory with 13 direct reports.
As of May 2021, I was promoted to Regional Manager where I maintain my previous responsibilities and continue to develop and grow the territory in sales.
“I am confident my hospitality education has given me an advantage in my career as its helped me learn to be proactive instead of reactive in all areas of business, not just in guest relations.”
How did your education at Dedman prepare you for your career? What skills or traits did you learn that contributed to your success?
My Dedman education provided me with great communication skills which best set me up for success in any industry, especially when working with clients/guests. I learned the importance of anticipating the need of guests which helps set an individual up for success in their business relationships, whether it be with a coworker or repeat business with a customer.
What was the most memorable part of your time at Dedman? Does anything from a class – or perhaps something a professor said – still stick with you today?
I vividly remember the project Dr. Line assigned us in the Integrated Marketing for Hospitality class and how it was constructed to be as close to a real life business as possible. This project and class allowed me to truly understand what all goes on when preparing a new product/service out on the market.
How is hospitality applicable to your current field?
I am a firm believer that hospitality is prevalent in all industries. Hospitality has assisted me in building strong relationships with clients as well as with my team. We are vendors to some of the big box retailers in the world, so when working with business-to-business or business-to-consumer, hospitality stands at the forefront of whether or not that relationship will thrive. I am confident my hospitality education has given me an advantage in my career as its helped me learn to be proactive instead of reactive in all areas of business, not just in guest relations.