Product Sales Manager, Eaton
By Joe Nowlan
Jonathan Wells has worked at Eaton Corp. since he graduated from college. And even before that, actually. He worked there as a marketing intern while still an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
In 2007, Jonathan graduated and had his eye on Eaton, and specifically its Leadership Development Program.
“I met with some folks to explore that opportunity a little more while I was still in school. It was very attractive so I applied for it, interviewed for it and was successful in getting the job,” he explained.
The LDP was work-intensive but also learning-intensive, something Jonathan wanted.
“In late 2007 I took an Eaton sales job in Minneapolis. Soon afterwards we felt the repercussions of the economic downturn and it was a little more challenging, certainly in a sales role, to meet expectations,” he said. “Fortunately for me, I had a great team up there which was very well ingrained in the market to support me. So we were able to weather the storm quite well.”
Even with the knowledge gained by Eaton's LDP training, Jonathan was struck by what he described as “the vast breadth of products that a company like Eaton Corporation manufactures.”
“It was exciting to see all the different applications of those products, whether it be industrial, utility, residential, commercial—there are just a lot of customers for our products,” Jonathan explained. “It was exciting. It was intimidating but it was exciting at the same time.”
From Minneapolis, he went to Eaton's Dallas location in 2009.
“The opportunity in Dallas was for large project construction sales,” he explained. “I was getting into some of the larger commercial buildings whether they were hotels or large office buildings or university projects; and some industrial projects as well supporting the oil and gas market. It was a different scope of customer base for me.”
While in Texas he found time to earn his MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington taking evening and weekend courses.
In 2015, he moved to Eaton's location in the city of South Milwaukee where he is the product sales manager.
“I have commercial responsibility for the products coming out of our South Milwaukee plant. That entails overhead, automatic circuit re-closers and controls and pad mount sectionalizing switchgear and controls as well,” he explained. “I manage the proposal team here as well as the switchgear support group.”
The move also brings him full circle, as Jonathan is a native of Appleton, Wisconsin. Still single, he is an avid snowboarder and since he moved back to Wisconsin he took up sailing and has participated in some races. In this year's Queens Cup Race he sailed to Michigan and back, he said.
“We also have an annual ice fishing tournament we go to,” Jonathan explained. “My family has a cabin in north-central Wisconsin and that very small town puts on an ice fishing tournament every year. It's a lot of fun.”
And being a Wisconsinite, obviously the man is a big fan of the Green Bay Packers.
“Of course! That comes with the territory,” he laughed.
Q. What advice do you have for other young professionals in the electrical industry?
A. I would say you always need to be looking for the next step in your career that is going to provide a new set of challenges. Each role in this industry will help you develop as a professional and you will learn new products, customers, markets and solutions while honing your communication and leadership style. I think all of that will position you for a fun and successful career.
Q. Why do you consider community involvement to be such an important part of a company's mission?
A. Personally, it is a great aspect of working for Eaton Corporation. It is rewarding. In our division alone last year we donated over half a million dollars. We had over 4,500 volunteer hours and over 140 events supporting more than 100 organizations. The variety of opportunities that we have to give back to the community is a nice benefit of working for the company because they are willing to put their resources behind that effort. It is one of Eaton's commitments to strengthen the communities we live and work in. It is a good feeling, it makes it a better place to work, and it improves morale within the office. It is also good teambuilding for the all the folks who go out and participate. It gets you more ingrained in the community. There is an endless list of benefits to having these types of programs in place within the company.
Joe Nowlan is a Boston-based freelance writer/editor and author. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tagged with 2017, 30 under 35, Eaton, tED