Name: Rick Simkins
Return to Work Internship position (and company): Service Delivery Support at Return Path.
Career past life (What did you do?): I was a Regional Channel Manager, selling data center solutions, networking, data storage and other solutions to companies.
How long were you out of the workforce before entering the Return to Work program? I was out of the workforce for 2 years. I started a business and was looking for a job before I found Return Path.
What was your experience trying to find a job before the program? Trying to find a job was extremely challenging. I worked for a lot of companies that went out of business, closed offices, or downsized. Many of the jobs were for 2 years or less each, which hindered my potential for future employment opportunities. My age also proved to be an issue when it came to job searching.
Internship role (What did you do each day?): At Return Path I mostly shadowed TAMs (Technical Account Managers). What TAMs do is keep connected with accounts. They identify problems and give recommendations for improving marketing campaign performance. I would produce weekly reviews as well as work on the email marketing campaign metrics. I used this time to familiarize myself with positions in Return Path as well as Return Path itself!
What are you doing now? Now I am a Renewal Specialist at Return Path. When accounts come up for a contract renewal, I work with customers to add or change products, increase service limits, then renew the contracts and keep the customer satisfied.
Crossover (What skills from your past life do you use in your new position?): My experience in sales is extremely helpful because it enables me to sell to the customer with confidence. If they are a prospect for tool or service that they don’t already have, I use my sales skills to pitch the new tool or service. My sales experience also helps me connect with the customer. If the customer is dissatisfied, past experience helps me to rebuild the relationship in order to renew the contract.
What does the Return to Work program mean to you? It meant a lot to me. The Return Path program saved me from worse times trying to find a job. It gave me a chance to show my skills and learn new ways of getting a job done. It helped me very much.
What was your main goal for the program? Did you achieve it? My goal is a continuing process. I strived to stay open-minded to new things and new ways of doing things. During the program I tried to learn as much as I could and stay open to everyone and everything. And I am still doing that today.
What advice would you give to future Returnees? Be open. Things may not be done like in the past but be open to new ways of doing things, newer tools that maybe you haven’t even heard of, and whatever is thrown your way regardless of how it fits in your job description.
Where did you hear about the program? I was working a part-time job at a golf course and one of the guys I worked with had a son working at Return Path. He said his son loves working at this company and Return Path works in technology. So I applied, then interviewed for the position and got in the program.