When Juliette Vo graduated from the University of Maryland, she never imagined that, within the first five years of her career, she would have the opportunity to work in Boston, Los Angeles and Toronto – all with the same company.
Entering the workforce with a degree in communications and politics in the spring of 2006, Juliette thought she wanted to work for a non-profit organization and live abroad.
“I truly felt that, with a place that was so young, forward-thinking and entrepreneurial, I could go after what I wanted and make a career while traveling the world and helping people.”
—Juliette Vo, Regional Sales Manager, EF Educational Tours Canada
“I truly felt that, with a place that was so young, forward-thinking and entrepreneurial, I could go after what I wanted and make a career while traveling the world and helping people,” Juliette explains.
She also loved that EF provides international education and travel opportunities to students. “The organization had so much appeal in the services that it provides,” she adds.
It appears that taking the Tour Consultant job with EF in Boston was the best decision Juliette could have made at the time. Today – six and a half years, three cities and six different roles later – she is a Regional Sales Manager with EF Educational Tours Canada in Toronto.
Juliette’s career path so far:
- Jan. 2007: Tour Consultant – Boston
- Jan. 2008: Team Leader – Boston
- Aug. 2008: Regional Sales Manager, Inside Sales – Boston
- Jan. 2009: Regional Sales Manager, Outside Sales – Los Angeles
- Aug. 2011: Director of Recruitment, Hult International Business School (an independent not-for-profit institution affiliated with EF) – Los Angeles
- Aug. 2012: Regional Sales Manager – Toronto
Starting in an entry level sales job at EF
In her first role, as a Tour Consultant, Juliette’s job primarily consisted of making outbound calls to teachers and she was measured on how many calls she made, how many people should get interested in travelling and whether or not she was meeting the company’s sales goals.
“I really was interested in improving and would always ask my manager if there was more I could do. With that approach, I got more responsibilities and more accolades.”
“It was intimidating at first because I was so nervous of rejection, but the people who worked with me made my time so interesting and propelled me to keep moving forward,” she recalls. “I really was interested in improving and would always ask my manager if there was more I could do. With that approach, I got more responsibilities and more accolades.”
Soon, Juliette was hitting each and every goal her manager set for her, and even helped her colleagues to do the same. That’s when she knew she was ready to take the next step in her career.
“I felt like I wanted more challenges, so I approached my manager with a proposal,” she says. “He didn’t give me a promotion right away, but he gave me very clear guidelines and actions to take in order to set me up for the next step in my career.”
Juliette says she started networking and looking to the most successful people for advice and tips on best business practices, as well as seeking out opportunities to work harder. “I offered to do things for my management team and head up side projects to make their lives easier. Because of that, I was already starting to do the work that they were doing before I got the promotion.”
Becoming not just a manager, but a mentor and coach
Around her one-year anniversary with EF, she was promoted to Team Leader, and eight months after that she became the Regional Sales Manager for the Boston office’s Inside Sales team.
Being a new manager wasn’t necessarily easy, though. Juliette admits that, at first, she didn’t always know how to best manage or motivate her team.
“At EF, you get training, but a lot of the experience comes from doing the work and learning,” she says.
“From being humble about my abilities, people forgave my early mistakes and really supported me to learn and become a stronger manager.”
“Entry level jobs are hard, but so many skills are learned during that time and there are so many rewards that come to those who try hard and aim for success.”
Skipping ahead a few years, a couple of promotions and roughly 4,000 kilometres across North America from LA to Toronto, Juliette no longer makes calls to teachers – now she coaches, manages and motivates a team of entry level sales professionals at EF’s Toronto office in jobs similar to the one she started in.
Perhaps one of the reasons she’s been such a successful Sales Manager at EF is because she knows where her team is coming from and acknowledges the fact that many entry level jobs are challenging. “Entry level jobs are hard, but so many skills are learned during that time and there are so many rewards that come to those who try hard and aim for success,” she says.
Endless possibilities with EF
Juliette isn’t exactly sure where her career will go from here, but she’s confident that EF will support her every step of the way.
“Because I’ve worked hard and have been honest with myself and my work, I’ve been able to voice when I need new challenges or a change. Sometimes, I get ‘not yet,’ but most times, I get, ‘OK, let’s see where we can use your strengths to the best of your ability,'” she says. “I have colleagues in more senior positions who believe in me and are able to give me advice. EF supports me in the sense that I can feel comfortable looking for the next challenge and, again, asking for a path to get me there.”
According to Juliette, EF is a perfect fit for recent grads with a spirit for adventure and entrepreneurial ventures. “EF offers a global, yet fresh and young work environment, and a small-feel atmosphere in which your opinions matter,” she says. “In that respect, it’s a great place to carve out your career and make it what you want.”