UT Tyler Soules College of Business
Tell us a little about you.
My name is Jeffrey Fannin and I currently work as a Category Development Manager at Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits. I am a big tennis and basketball fan and play both sports whenever I can. I attended UT Tyler from 2013 to 2016 and graduated with a bachelors degree in marketing.
What did you do right after graduating?
I wasted no time and started hunting for jobs as soon as I could. I sent many applications to various companies for many different positions. I was blessed to find one as quickly as I did.
Tell us about your current job and what you do.
I currently work as a Category Development Manager on the dedicated HEB account team at Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits. In this position, I use data and analytics to develop insight to improve our business, as well as our customers (HEB).
How did your Soules College of Business Degree help you with your current position?
My degree helped me with my job in various ways. I took multiple courses during my time at UT Tyler that allows me to do the job I do today. Retail analytics, 7-Eleven Case Study, and the course for Microsoft Excel taught me many things that I use on a daily basis when analyzing data.
What was your favorite Soules College of Business class and why?
I had the opportunity to be a part of the 7-Eleven Case study class at UT Tyler. That class was my favorite class because it introduced me to category management, and allowed me to gain some tangible experience in the field. The best part was being able to develop a strategy for 7-Eleven and present it to their merchandising team at their corporate office.
Any Soules College of Business/UT Tyler memories you would like to share?
The 7-Eleven class had some fun times interacting with professors and students, and presenting our findings to the merchandising team was a great experience. Their feedback was also very useful.
What advice would you give current Soules College of Business students?
Gaining work experience is just as valuable as an education. My 6 years of experience in a grocery store helped differentiate me from other candidates. Get to know your professors! They are a useful reference when applying for jobs!
What insight do you have for Soules College of Business students that are about to graduate on how to land their first job?
Be willing to branch out when applying for jobs after graduating (ex. moving to new areas/cities). Don't be afraid to apply for positions were you don't meet all the qualifications (Ex. My job required a masters degree and years of experience in category management. I had just received a bachelors degree and only had roughly 5 months of category management experience. I was able to convey my knowledge of the field and retail during my interviews). Don't be afraid to reach out to the recruiter regarding the position. I reached out to the recruiter to let him know I wanted to interview and apply for the position I have now.