“When I’m looking for candidates, I look for attitude first, the energy to come in every day and give me good effort, and someone who is capable and willing and really making an effort to learn. You give me those things and you’ll be a success.”
Ferguson was Marc’s first job after college, and he says he hopes it will also be his last. He got his start 30 years ago as a sales-management trainee (a.k.a. warehouse floor sweeper at the time) in Baltimore, Maryland, and as he says, hit every step on the ladder between that job and his role today as an Area Sales Manager. One of those steps was in outside sales in Baltimore in his 20s, which he says was one of his career highs. Interestingly Ferguson hasn’t been Marc’s only job in the last 3 decades. He left the company for 7 years to take highly technical positions where he learned about valve automation, sanitary & high purity piping and instrumentation. The benefit? He returned to Ferguson with a wealth of industry knowledge.
Marc has lots of advice for someone starting out in the industrial PVF distribution business. First, he says to remember it’s not that difficult and not to shy away from the opportunity. “We often think in the industrial world that what we do is really difficult and highly technical,” he says laughing. “But mostly it’s really not. It’s just different.” Learning is key, which is his second piece of advice — to make an effort to learn something new with every interaction. “Even after 30 years, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t learn something,” he says. And finally, Mark advises that a positive attitude is a game-changer and will get you through the daily challenges that are sure to arise.
The part of his job that gives Marc the most satisfaction is when he’s able to offer a career opportunity to someone that can change their life for the better. “It’s my favorite thing to do,” he says. “They have to do the work, and it’s on them to succeed, but giving someone a chance to grow and to change their life is very rewarding.” It’s likely this means so much to Marc because he himself has benefitted from the same types of chances. Marc has been willing to pursue new opportunities and big challenges in his career with Ferguson, something he says the company offers to all associates at all career levels. “Ferguson gives you the opportunity to sink or swim. And when you succeed, it leads to even more and cooler opportunities.” And Marc is certainly proof.
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