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 Stephanie Ellis, a 2013 honoree.
What is your current position?
Marketing Manager at Robroy Industries
What has been the reaction from co-workers and people in the industry to your “30 Under 35” award?
The feedback has been more than I expected. This as a very prestigious award and is highly recognized by those in the industry. I think it made my colleagues very proud and others within the industry were very congratulatory.
What advice would you give young professionals about electrical distribution?
First, do not under estimate the potential career opportunities within the electrical industry. There is so much to learn and so many opportunities to grow and have a tremendous career. Second, surround yourself with mentors. Gaining knowledge from those who have “been there and done that” is priceless.
What recruiting advice would you give companies when it comes to hiring great, young talent?
Set expectations upfront and be honest with your candidates. Too many times companies are fixated on attracting employees that they give a false sense of the culture and job expectations. In the long run it sets both you and the candidate up for failure and disappointment.
How important was your mentoring (and reverse mentoring) when it comes to furthering your career?
I have been lucky to have several great mentors in my career. Without their direction and passing of knowledge there is no way I would have exceled within my career as quickly as I have. My mentors have not only helped me learn about the overall electrical industry, but also key business practices that would apply in any situation. Additionally, they have made me realize how much I could actually accomplish by encouraging me to take challenges that I did not realize I was capable of handling.
Acting as a mentor for others has not only given me a chance to “pay it forward,” but it has also helped me be a better leader. Also, mentoring others gives you to ability to make sure you keep learning as well.
What advice would you give to company leaders (c-suite) about working with Millennials?
In recent years there have been many articles written on millennials in the work place and I do believe many of the observations to be true. The common themes tend to be that millennials want to learn, they want feedback, and they want to grow. I would suggest taking time to invest in training your employees, followed by feedback and coaching. Additionally, give them the opportunity and tools to grow within your organization.
What do you see in the future of electrical distribution when it comes to technology and business practices?
With the growing need to have instant access to information as well as the growth within e-commerce, technology needs within the electrical industry are greater than ever and in my opinion, we are behind the curve. Studies suggest that as of 2014, more people are using mobile devices than desktops and that trend is expected to grow. I believe there is a need to focus on growing technology within our industry in order to provide information quickly and conduct transactions which customers will leave satisfied.
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