This story is part of a new series on “How I landed the job,” going step-by-step through job changes and negotiations at some of Charlotte’s best places to work. To be considered for a story, please email email@example.com.
The career path
- As an NC State student, interned in New York with GUESS? and Henri Bendel to learn about the fashion side of PR. (Sounds like fun, right? Ended up feeling too superficial.)
- As a junior in college, worked for the Carolina Hurricanes “fan development” team but it was right after the lockout and there wasn’t a lot to do. Bored.
- A contact from a previous internship pointed her in the direction of a radio station in Raleigh with a part-time opening for a promotions assistant. Interviewed, got the job, was there for 6-8 months.
- Part-time unfortunately didn’t turn into full-time as planned, so she started looking. A contact worked at Red Bull and had approached her about a sales position. “I had zero interest. I thought it was all cold calling and commission based, which didn’t sound like it was for me.”
- Learned more, decided to interview, got the job and loved it. Sales rep for Wisdom Beverage for a year and a half (working closely with the supplier, Red Bull).
Soon, she aspired to be on the brand side, looking to a mentor who worked for Red Bull.
- The mentor got a new job, leaving that position open. Eliza interviewed but didn’t get the job. About 6 months later another opportunity arose – in DC – and this time she got it. (Title: On Premise Manager for Red Bull North America.)
- About 5 years into the DC role, promoted to a distributor partner position, more marketing and sales based, managing 7 distributors within mid-Atlantic. At this point, she and her husband were also ready to come back to NC but weren’t having luck with jobs. Started working with a biz coach based in Charlotte. Also set a “quit date,” job or no job. “Looking for job can be a full-time job in itself.”
- Heard through a connection of a family member that BooneOakley was hiring for a new business development position. Perfect! Got down to the final two candidates but didn’t get the position.
- “I kept in touch with David Oakley and Greg Johnson over the course of a year and every now and then I would send a message and try to reconnect. They were ‘the ones that got away’ for me so I wanted to stay top of mind. I knew this was where I wanted to work.”
- After a year they had a new beverage client and Eliza’s background was perfect. Moved down, started the work, and recently she was promoted to Account Supervisor.
“Timing is everything. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. The right thing will come along at the right time if you find something you’re passionate about. If it’s the right place for you, you need to stick with it and continue the relationship.
There were two different scenarios when the first time it didn’t work out, but I was persistent and continued to work toward the goal. Both times it ended up working out.”
Make yourself stand out
“Each time I interviewed I did something kitschy to campaign myself. When I went to BooneOakley it happened to be election day so I made campaign fliers. I tend to go on the cheesy side but things like that stand out. You have to understand who you’re speaking to.”
Is BooneOakley as awesome as it looks?
“It’s 100% as awesome as it looks. We’re all a big family. It’s a special culture. I wake up every day and can’t believe it’s my job. You spend the majority of your life with people you work with – you better like it.”
“We have a 401keg program. It’s a 401k match but also every day after 4:01 you’re allowed to drink beer. Everyone is also very supportive of personal life events like weddings, becoming parents, etc.”