This is the fifth 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? Etc.
Ashleigh Angelette: I’m 21-years old and I’m a senior at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. I am in the Nursing School and will have my Bachelors of Science in Nursing in December. I will also have a minor in Women and Gender Studies.
M.L.T.S.: How did you hear about the mark. program and get involved? How long ago was it that you got involved?
AA: When I was 18 I was approached by a sorority sister of mine who was then a Campus Sales Manager for mark. She invited me to an event they were hosting on campus to get my makeup done. I’ve always been interested in fashion and beauty, so I was really excited about the event. A few days before the event, she told me I should become a rep and apply for an open Campus Sales Manager position. I figured I had nothing to lose, and the discount on the products was well worth the sign-up fee. I didn’t have intentions of selling, I just wanted to have a discount for myself. I signed up as a representative and applied for the Campus Sales Manager position and within a few days I was hired! Immediately I became hooked on the products – everything from the makeup to the fashion line was incredible and it was so affordable!! I also loved the fact that mark. created the m.powerment campaign to raise awareness about teen dating violence. As a Women & Gender Studies minor, topics such as women’s rights and domestic violence and things are very important to me. It was very empowering to know that I was going to be a part of something that could really help women and make a change.
M.L.T.S.: What have you learned or accomplished while involved in the program?
AA: I have gained so much business experience as a mark representative. As a nursing student, I have never been given the opportunity to sell anything or to be a “business woman,” but it’s always something that I’ve been interested in. It’s given me the chance to explore my career options if down the road, I decide that nursing isn’t the best fit for me, I know I would be an awesome business woman. I have worked with some of the best women I’ve ever met in my life and I’ve learned so much about marketing, sales, and general communication skills and interpersonal relationships. The summer of 2009, I was hired as an intern for the company and was able to live in New York City for 10 weeks and work with actual professionals in the industry. I met editors of magazines, product developers, jewelry designers, celebrity stylists, and I worked one-on-one with all the executives within the mark brand. It was the opportunity of a lifetime. Aside from the internship, I’ve also been a Dream Trip winner to the Sundance Film Festival, I’ve won a pair of Christian Louboutins ($850 shoes, yes please!), an iPad, a Michael Kors watch, and a few other small incentives. I’ve also been promoted from a representative to a Campus Sales Manager to a Mentor. As a Mentor, I’ve gained an enormous amount of managerial skills and learned how to successfully run a team of 300 representatives. It’s been a wonderful experience to help other reps achieve the same level of success I’ve had within the company. I can see such a positive change in my team’s motivation, sales, and confidence since I’ve started working with them in October of 2010.
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?
AA: I want to be involved with mark. for the rest of my life. In the two and half years I’ve been a rep, I’ve seen the company evolve in so many different ways. Our product line has grown and bettered every year, our brand name is more recognizable, and our philanthropic associations have strengthened as well. Being a representative has given me nothing but positive opportunities and experiences. I want to be able to continue giving this opportunity to other women and expanding the brand. Right now, as a Mentor, this is a full-time job for me. I can work on my own time though, which is the biggest benefit of being a representative and a Mentor. I am able to fit this job into my very chaotic academic life and finding a job that’s as flexible as this is not the easiest thing to do as a busy college student. I’m beyond satisfied with my role in the company and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
M.L.T.S.: What’s your favorite part of this?
AA: That’s a really tough one! If I had to pick one favorite thing about being a rep, it would probably have to be the relationships that I’ve made over the years. I can honestly say that I adore everyone I work with – from my Regional Manager (who’s by far the best manager I’ve ever had) to the other mentors to the reps across the country, they are all absolutely fabulous women. I continuously learn how to make myself a better business woman and a better person because of the love and support from these women. It’s a network that has truly built a dozen or two friendships that will last a lifetime. It’s very rare to find so many people you get along with. We are all women (and men too!) who have a loyalty to each other and the brand. I know I could call on just about any rep to help me out if I was in a sticky situation. If I could pick a second favorite, I would definitely say the 30-35 percent discount is definitely a plus, too.