We’re catching up with our previous “30 Under 35” winners to see where they are now and how their perspective has changed since being named one of the rising stars of the electrical industry.
Today, we talk with Amanda Witham, a 2012 honoree.
What is your current position?
I am still the East Region Financial Operations Manager for Crescent Electric Supply Company. I am currently at our Bronx location in New York.
What has been the reaction from co-workers and people in the industry to your “30 Under 35” award?
It was an honor to receive the award. I got emails and calls from current co-workers and past co-workers I hadn’t heard from in a while. A board member from Crescent sent me a very heart warm note that made me realize how special this award was to me and the company.
What advice would you give young professionals about electrical distribution?
Be sure to get involved and understand all aspects of your business. There are so many different paths in electrical distribution from sales, operations, marketing, accounting, etc. Try to get a feel how each department works so you get a better sense of how the cycle of distributor is beneficial to your customers and vendors.
What recruiting advice would you give companies when it comes to hiring great, young talent?
It’s great to look at schools with supply chain management, industrial distribution or management schools but don’t forget about the community colleges with students that may already have real life experience that they are just trying to expand on with local classes.
How important was your mentoring (and reverse mentoring) when it comes to furthering your career?
I’ve had mentors in my company and outside my company. They are important to help work through difficult decisions and situations. It can be easier to talk with a mentor rather than a friend or college because the emotions are not as strong and they can help really find solutions and ideas to help your career.
What advice would you give to company leaders (c-suite) about working with Millennials?
Don’t be afraid to give Millennials a chance. The assumptions with this generation is they think they deserve a management job right away. There are too many instances that a job needs “experience in a management position” but someone has to give a person a chance to have that experience.
What do you see in the future of electrical distribution when it comes to technology and business practices?
Technology is speeding up the way we communicate information, from customer to distributor to vendor. This will cause companies to implement document control processes in a way they never have before. And I think there will be a shift in how customers evaluate product knowledge, product recommendations, and how they make purchasing decisions. Technology is changing how the world makes decisions, and electrical distribution will be no different.
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