This is the first in a series of five interviews M.L.T.S. conducted with mark representatives across the country. mark, for those of you who don’t know, is an Avon company aimed at a younger clientele. Known for working with such celebrities as Lauren Conrad, the company is dedicated not only to philanthropy, mark is a company dedicated to helping college-aged girls make money and learn important business skills while they are in school. If you are interested in becoming a mark representative, you can apply here.M.L.T.S.: Can you tell us a little more about you? How old are you? Where do you go to school? What are you studying?
Beth Heitker: I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Newark, Ohio (a small town outside of Columbus). My family had the opportunity to move back to Cincinnati a few years ago, so I am finally back “home.” I am a junior at Xavier University studying Marketing with a minor in Entrepreneurship. I have had a passion for the business world for quite some time, which was sparked in high school, and am really enjoying my studies here. I am currently 21 years old.
M.L.T.S.: How did you hear about the mark program and get involved? How long ago was it that you got involved?
Beth Heitker: The first time I heard about mark was through a District Manager from Avon. She approached me while I was in high school, working at the mall, and briefly described the brand. This was summer 2007 to be exact. Later I was checking out the brand on my own time, I was really impressed with everything mark had to offer. I was intrigued by the fact that I could start selling and earn money by hosting a party full of make up with a group of friends. Not only was it a company that sold beauty and fashion products, but it also gave women the chance to make a difference—either for themselves or for others. During that time, Lauren Conrad was mark’s brand ambassador, and I was inspired by her work with mark’s m.powerment campaign. (Their philanthropic movement aimed to break the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence. ) I loved Lauren’s confidence and passion for the cause and knew if I signed up to be a Representative, I could be a part of the movement helping to break the cycle as well as make a difference in smaller ways in my community. Overall, the brand and its mission is what really inspired me to become a Representative. I wanted to make a “mark” on the world.
M.L.T.S.: What have you learned or accomplished while involved in the program?
Beth Heitker: mark has significantly helped me differentiate myself from others and will continue to do so in my upcoming activities. I now have a plethora of experiences I can talk about to exhibit my skills I have learned through mark. For example, just by talking about planning a past event, I illustrate that I am capable and successful at finding the right target audience and the best way to reach them, ordering enough products to have on hand for samples or giveaway and determining the cost and benefits of having these products on hand, sales techniques and proper customer service, and at the end of the party, determining net income. These topics are all things I have learned about in my business classes at Xavier and were reinforced by my experience with mark.
Not only have I been able to master these business skills, but also strengthen my own communication skills. I have learned how to carry a casual conversation, appreciate what the person is saying, identify with her and possibly add her as a connection in the future. These “soft” skills are things that have not been taught in classes, but are things I have developed and acquired through interacting with people daily through my mark business.
My most recent success is my accomplishment in winning a trip to New York City for a National Sales Meeting and “beauty bootcamp” in May. I was able to win this drip due to my sales achievement and am proud that I could execute a strategy in order to reach this goal. This real world sales experience is something I value very highly.
I also believe that my understanding of the business world and my entrepreneurial spirit has played an instrumental role as I earned an internship with mark in New York City last summer in the Communication and Education (Sales) department. I am anxiously waiting for this coming summer as I earned another intern position at mark, this time specializing in Finance. I am ready and excited to see another sector of the brand. Working with mark as a Representative and as an intern has been an amazing experience as has helped me to recognize my passion for beauty and fashion to which drives me to succeed.
M.L.T.S.: How do you think you’ll be involved with this in the next few years? Is this something that you’ve been told might lead to a full-time job later?
Beth Heitker: As I mentioned, I will be returning to work for mark as an intern this coming summer. This is a huge opportunity for me to get to know another aspect of the company and grow in my strengths. I hope to clearly illustrate my passion for the brand and its mission and establish a relationship that could lead to more possibilities in the future. With mark being such a tremendous success and growing as a company, I hope that there will be positions opening in the future. I know that previous successful interns have been hired on for full time employment in the past, so I naturally my ultimate goal is to achieve something like this as well, and make mark an even larger part of my life. Only time will tell!
M.L.T.S.: What’s your favorite part of this?
Beth Heitker: My favorite thing about being a mark representative is all of the opportunities that mark provides. Not only does mark offer women a chance to become financially independent, but also to reward themselves for reaching their goals. I love the executive team that works for mark, creating promotions and contests, incentives and dream trips. We are offered so many different chances to challenge ourselves and accomplish our goals.
During these times, I also find it amazing how the mark community sticks together. It is incredible how mark representatives from all over the country cheer for each other and share helpful selling tips, even when they are all competing for the same prize.
On that same note, I absolutely love hosting and helping other representatives host parties. This is the most fun part about being a representative because it is amazing how many people you can touch in such a short period of time. I love sharing tips on how and where to apply all of our make up products. Beauty education is something that many women do not have, and to be able to provide that, spark their own confidence and allow them to feel beautiful is such a gratifying experience.
One of my most favorable experiences with mark thus far was last summer, when I had the opportunity to be an intern for corporate in New York City. Not only did I get to experience the brand as a whole, meet the executives, and see the driving forces behind its success, but I also created and developed unbelievable friendships with other mark girls.