Troy Sweeney

This interview is an excerpt of a longer conversation with alumni, who work in business development.

Please tell us about your career path.

I graduated from UVA in 2018 with a degree in Economics. During my time as an undergrad, I had many conversations with superiors, friends, family, and alumni about what I wanted to do. I eventually spoke with an alum who piqued my interest in sales, given its work-life balance with flexible work hours and remote culture, since the priority is that you hit your numbers. After graduation, I wanted to build my skill set, so I chose to join the Summit sales rotation program for IBM, where I currently work. So far, it’s been satisfying all the expectations I had coming out of school.

What relevance does an Economics major hold in your profession?

Studying Econ for me was about developing my understanding of human behavior and what drives the actions of individuals and businesses. When an employer like IBM looks for people who can hold an intelligent conversation and ask good questions, an Economics major is definitely among the strongest there is in those aspects.

What’s your daily life like at work, and what have you learned to be good at your day-to-day duties?

Every day is different for me. Sales jobs will be pretty regimented at the beginning, though it might depend on your particular manager. You will be asked from time to time to join meetings in addition to the usual duties you have, and you have to prioritize what you say “yes” to and what you have to decline or put off for tomorrow. A big part of the job is learning to optimize your schedule, and each Monday, I will budget time in for my own activities throughout the week to make sure I can be as productive as possible prior to agreeing to help with other projects and tasks.