The Real World {a 20 year old’s perspective}

PJ, the newest member to our sales team, hasn’t had experience in our industry, but the experience he’s gotten here in just 6 months has put him in a good position to succeed. Did we hook ya? Read on…


It’s crazy to think that this time just last year, instead of making sales calls and learning the ropes of the promotional product industry, I was a Freshman at Purdue University. I thought I’d follow the “typical” path of first college first, then a job in the real world, but I am happy and proud to now be working towards both at the same time: professional development and school. I’ll admit, there are days I miss the college life and my friends in West Lafayette. Sleeping in, going out all night, hanging out with friends…aren’t these the types of things I should be doing right now?

However, although my position at Distinct Images is a lot of work, in just 6 months it is already proving to be extremely beneficial to me as a person. I started out as the “Factory Boy” counting t-shirts, taking inventory for our school programs, working events/games and shipping packages to customers, but it was all part of the learning process. I learned the ins and outs of the production process so that I can now better explain to my customers the process from start to finish. When I call on my target customer list, I can speak intelligently about what we do, what we offer and how we do it. I guess what they say is true: hard work pays off. I must have done something right back in that warehouse, as now I’m sitting in the front office behind a desk with my own business cards, phone and job title as a Sales Executive. I am targeting bars, restaurants, schools and athletic facilities initially and hope that, being in the target demographic for those types of businesses, I can relate to my customers well.

Working here has taught me how to budget my time and prioritize. When I started as “Factory Boy” I didn’t realize I’d be in the place I am today. Sure, it was fun to rummage through warehouse boxes of leftover t-shirts and put on the smallest, funniest ones I could find to add humor to our days here, but at the end of the day I was here to help where needed and pitch in during our busy season. After careful thought, I made the decision to stay within a professional working environment while attending classes locally in Indianapolis as opposed to heading back to Purdue. Because, well, I really like my job. I appreciate the leadership I have here, look up to Jim as a business owner, and know that all of the skills I am learning in a business environment will only help me accelerate in school and in my future endeavors!

I sure am not the most experienced person in the company or industry, but take it from this 20-year-old…hard work pays off. Taking the time to get back on track is worth the time, thought and experience. So the next time you need help with a project – give me a call. I’ll work hard for you and am eager to work with as many people as possible.

– PJ

PJ Maniago
Sales Executive

Keep Promoting!