Andrew McGrath is currently enrolled in Springboard’s Tech Sales Career Track – is the curriculum and support living up to his expectations? Find out how Andrew’s making the self-paced bootcamp structure work for his schedule, plus how Springboard is preparing him for a Sales Development Rep (SDR) role.
What inspired you to enroll in Springboard’s Tech Sales Career Track this year?
I spent a decade as a Sales Manager with Best Buy, and then pivoted into recruiting. I love the tech industry and helping people understand its possibilities, but at the end of the day recruiting is still a sales job and I wanted to pivot into something that would offer more career opportunities. I researched growing industries in tech and noticed that the industry of tech sales is massive!
A friend of mine recommended taking online courses in tech sales to brush up on transferable skills. I chose Springboard because it had some of the best feedback from students and alumni who loved Springboard’s hands-on approach, which ensures students understand the content regardless of their previous experience. Springboard stood out because they were able to work from many different perspectives.
Was Springboard’s job guarantee an important factor when deciding on a bootcamp?
Springboard’s job guarantee shows their confidence in their content and the trust they establish with students to offer the right information to get them hired. The job guarantee stood out to me as I was enrolling because it proves they’re standing behind their coursework.
Do you need to have any previous knowledge or experience to get into the Tech Sales Bootcamp?
Not really. As long as you've got the right mindset of going to class, getting to work, asking questions, and keeping an open mind, there aren't any prerequisites.
I completed a questionnaire covering basic information to see what base understanding I had going into the bootcamp, and that was reviewed by an advisor.
Springboard is serious about mentorship! Who is your mentor and how are they supporting you?
Yes, I've been leaning a lot on my fantastic advisor, Dave! I know I can go to him if I have any questions. Even when I feel like I'm contacting him too much, he still expresses that he’s happy to help. Having Dave’s support has taken a big weight off of my shoulders as I'm trying to navigate this new area.
All the student advisors with whom I‘ve interacted have been fantastic. They are always there to answer questions, they’ve got a foothold in the industry, and they understand the different people that you need to connect with, especially from a network standpoint. They've got great insight on different questions and they are constructive in their delivery. They never shame or put down — instead they encourage to get you on the right path and offer intentional feedback on a redirect.
What does a typical week look like for you in Springboard’s Tech Sales bootcamp?
Springboard is awesome because it’s self-paced, but we still have deadlines. It’s still structured, but it’s structured and led by you, the student. With so much going on in, it’s been amazing to be able to go at a pace that feels good to me. The fact that it’s self-paced is a huge win for me and so many others. Most afternoons, I'll spend between two to three hours going through the curriculum, reading, understanding the projects, and working on the projects.
So far, what have you learned in the Tech Sales Bootcamp?
I have learned so much about networking and being able to meet the right people. A major topic was client engagement, and how to engage in a more meaningful and impactful way. Our instructor showed us a multitude of ways to engage people and sell in a more intentional way.
We’ve also gone over tools like LinkedIn, our resume, different sales styles, and some of the programs, like Salesforce and other CRM programs that a lot of the industry leaders use. This is helpful so that when we step into a role, we’ve already got that foothold and understanding walking in the door! It’s been empowering to learn content and programs that will start me off on the right foot.
Even though this is an online bootcamp, do you feel connected to your cohort?
Yes, I feel connected to my cohort! We were all encouraged to network through LinkedIn and we used a Slack channel to contact our student advisor and share best practices. It’s really empowering to be able to contribute answers to questions as we all have them and to maintain such vital camaraderie with my peers.
What are your career goals in taking this bootcamp? Are you hoping to land a SDR role?
I am currently working to find an SDR (Sales Development Representative) position. I've been looking at different size companies and I'm not certain whether I want to work with a small or large company. I've had lots of conversations with folks that I've networked with via Springboard and I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to find an SDR role.
How is Springboard supporting you as you prepare for your job hunt?
Springboard supports us for the job hunt throughout the whole program. We start with basics like resume-building and interview work, then move on to mock interviews and connection to a specific career coach. I've been working with my career coach on things like how to apply, what to look out for, and what it means when companies say different things. It's hands-on and very encouraging to have that person in my corner.
Do you feel like what you’re learning at Springboard will help you land the SDR role that you’re looking for?
Absolutely. Being able to work in this aspect with Springboard has definitely prepared me to understand and ask questions, and hopefully land that role.
Do you have any advice for future Springboard Tech Sales students?
My biggest advice would be – don't be afraid to ask questions. Whether it’s an acronym you don’t know or a process you don’t understand, reach out to your advisors and ask questions. Ask your fellow peers. Everyone I've worked with has been so helpful and not condescending, so definitely don't be afraid to ask questions and keep an open mind.
So far, what has been the most challenging part of the Tech Sales Bootcamp?
The most challenging aspects have been networking. It’s not a natural thing for everyone to be able to cold call and reach out to strangers on the internet to pick their brain about the industry. Springboard has boosted my confidence in my ability to reach out to new people, share my background, and ask them about their journey. After months of practicing, networking has become less challenging.
At this point in your bootcamp journey, has Springboard been worth it for you?
Absolutely! I'm still working to land a job, but I can honestly say I feel 10 times more confident than I did prior to this as I emerge into the tech sales industry. Thanks to the knowledge I’ve gained, I feel confident that I will be able to land a great position.
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