Alumni Highlight: Brooks Hester – Lenovo
TECS alumnus, Brooks Hester, earned his B.S. in Textile Engineering in 2013. He now works for Lenovo as an Inside Channel Sales Representative for Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.
Name: Brooks Hester
Degree earned at NC State University: B.S. Textile Engineering, 2013
What company / entity do you currently work for? Lenovo
What is your current job title? Inside Channel Sales Representative – AZ, NV, NM
What are your significant job responsibilities?
Drive sales with Lenovo’s channel (indirect) business partners. Along with my field rep, I manage a mixed book of acquisition and retention business partner accounts in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. Our goal is to drive increasing volumes of Lenovo sales through the territory, educate and train partners on Lenovo programs, and work to help build an independent channel.
How did you find out about this position and what was the interview process like?
I found the position through networking on LinkedIn’s job search section. The interview processes consisted of three phases – a HR screening interview, a manager interview, and an onsite interview for a half day at Lenovo headquarters in Morrisville, NC.
What is the biggest difference between being in college and working in industry?
There are deadlines weekly in college. However, working 40-50 hours per week there are deadlines almost every hour of every day. In college I could take breaks between classes or there were days I didn’t even have class. Because I enjoy my job so much now I am always “connected” to work via email or phone so work is always around.
What are experiences that you had in TECS that have helped with your new career?
The professors at TECS are the biggest thing that helped me with my career. Even though I’m not currently working in my major I feel like the professors I had were extremely important at teaching me how to work hard but also work smart and effectively. They taught me how to solve real world problems and apply those principles to areas that can be translated across any avenue, not just textiles. That’s the one thing that sets the Wilson College of Textiles apart from everywhere else – the professors we have go out of their way every day to make sure we are set up to succeed.
What is the best thing about the city you now live in?
Luckily for me I got to stay in Raleigh! I grew up around the area and going to school here it was a natural fit to be able to transition to life after college. Being close for football, basketball, and baseball games is easily the best part. Having friends and family around when I’m not working also helps to ease a lot of stress.
Do you have any funny/interesting anecdotes from your time at NC State / COT / TECS that you’d like to share?
I’m sure I could think of plenty from Senior Design with Dr. Willoughby’s class but many of them wouldn’t make sense to anyone but those of us who were there. Dr. Joines was always up for a good laugh, most of the time at my expense!
Do you have any advice about job searching or are there things that you know now that you wished you had known as a student and that we can share with our current and future students?
The one thing that I think is important to remember is don’t limit yourself to one area when looking for a job. Just because you are getting a textiles degree doesn’t mean there aren’t other opportunities available. Yes, we all have much more textile expertise than the average person, but we also learn so much more that is applicable across any job field. Make sure you are taking full advantage of what’s out there!