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March 28, 2023

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Careers in Sales

Success Spotlight: Wendy Edwards

Growing up in Jamaica, Wendy Edwards learned the value of education and independence at an early age. “I studied at a private school for girls that stressed the importance of discipline and self-reliance, later moving to New York with my brother to attend Queens College. My parents encouraged my brothers, my sister, and myself to come to the U.S. to pursue the American dream,” explains Ms. Edwards. “They believe that with hard work and determination, the United States can offer tremendous opportunity for anyone.”

That foundation of hard work and self-reliance proved to be beneficial as she found herself working a 40-hour week while going to school full-time. All this while adjusting to the hustle and bustle of New York — quite different from life on a small Caribbean island. Her job working as an assistant to a New York Life Agent gave her a first taste of the life insurance business. “It really appealed to my sense of independence. From day one I knew I wanted to be my own boss, and I liked the freedom that a career with New York Life offered,” she says. “You can basically
write your own paycheck. The amount of time and effort you put in truly determines your success.”
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Career Satisfaction Outside The Wall Street Grind

Unique Career Path

While many people at New York Life Insurance Company start their career in the field and then make the switch to the Home Office, Bianca O’Brien carved her own special path. She joined the Home Office from college and had a successful career track where she proved herself in a number of positions. Bianca then decided to go into the field…first as an agent, then Partner, then Senior Partner at one of New York Life’s largest offices – the Long Island General Office. From there she led the Jericho Sales Office and now continues her journey as a Corporate Vice President in the Northeastern Zone.

Her Path to Success

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Fulfilling Promises In the Best and Worst of Times

New York Life Insurance Company Partner Euletta Gordon-Campbell, South Jersey General Office, believes in promises. “When I sell a policy, it’s a promise to be there for my client and their family. And, it doesn’t just stop at delivering the death benefit,” she says, firmly. “I teach my team the lessons that I learned and in particular from this one extraordinary client. Delivering the death benefit was just the beginning.
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Success Spotlight: Jayshree Patel

Jayshree Patel has been a financial professional with New York Life Insurance Company since 1997. Throughout her entire career she has been focusing on helping her clients protect their dreams and economic futures.

Jayshree consistently ranks amongst New York Life’s highest-achieving agents. She was named New York Life’s 2012 Council President, the highest honor a New York Life agent can receive and which can be earned only once during an agent’s career. The award is based on an agent’s annual sales, customer service and integrity. She has qualified for Council 14 consecutive years, qualifying for Chairman’s Council 13 times and Chairman’s Cabinet 4 times. Jayshree was also the 2008 Council First Vice President in the West Central Zone. She is a Lifetime Member of the Million Dollar Round Table, having qualified for 13 years and making the Top of the Table in 2012.

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Direct Sales

Ever dream about making money on your own time as your own boss? That dream can be a reality with a full-time career or part-time hobby in direct sales. Direct sales programs enable motivated women to make money on their own time. Millions of women have turned their passions into full-time jobs because they make enough money in this role to support their lifestyles. Others use these opportunities to supplement primary incomes.

Di – rect sell – ing: The sale of a consumer product or service, person-to-person, away from a standard retail location. These products and services are marketed to customers by independent salespeople, who are typically referred to as distributors, representatives, or consultants. Products are sold mainly through in-home product demonstrations, parties, one-on-one selling, and online.

In this Section:

  • Let’s Begin
  • Legit Companies

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Rising Sales Stars from’s Rising Stars series brings to life real stories of achievement and challenges from young people today in jobs across the industries.

Here are some of the young women they feature who have hit their stride pursuing careers in sales.

Brea Hall, Driving the Wienermobile to Inside Sales

Name: Brea Hall
Title: Client Experience Specialist
Company: Cleveland Cavaliers
School: Pennsylvania State University
Years Out of College: 0-2
Major: Advertising/Public Relations

I was absolutely surprised that I ended up in sales when I came out of a public relations curriculum. However, now that I am here, I see how business skills, communications skills and personality can be a great combination to accomplish anything.

Brea learned about marketing and public relations in a very hands-on way immediately after college: she spent a year driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Later, she was able to translate those skills into an Inside Sales position in the National Basketball Association and then to a higher-level role in Client Services. She credits her business and communication know-how, along with her outgoing personality, with getting her where she is today…Click here to read more about Brea.

Kelly Champagne, Finding a Place in Software Sales

Name: Kelly Champagne
Title: Account Manager
Company: The MathWorks
School: Bentley College
Years Out of College: 5-10
Major: Marketing

I never really thought about sales when I was in school. It wasn’t really discussed in terms of a viable profession in college. I always sort of pictured sales in the retail/car dealership sense.

Kelly never thought she would land in sales. In fact, she hated most sales jobs until she found software sales, a specific role involving strong product knowledge and deep client relationships. Along the way, Kelly has worked with people who believed she had the potential to succeed, and they were right… Click here to read more about Kelly.

Maureen Keyo, Sales: A Ticket to a Dream Job

Name: Maureen Keyo
Title: Premium Sales Manager
Company: Boston Celtics
School: College of the Holy Cross
Years Out of College: 5-10
Major: Political Science/Spanish

It is important for recent graduates to resist pigeonholing themselves into a specific role or function,” she said. “If you know what you want to do, that is terrific. But most of my classmates coming out of college were not sure, and that was totally fine.”

Maureen acknowledges that her job has almost nothing to do with her political science degree, but she values her liberal arts education for the opportunities it gave her to be a “well-rounded and versatile job candidate.” Though her career path was unexpected, this successful sales manager has shown that hard work can turn a strong interest into a solid job…Click here to read more about Maureen.

Visit to read more about these women as well as Rising Stars in a variety industries including entertainment, accounting, technology, finance, education, and non-profit.