What he does:
- Mike Hughes is a Sales and Marketing Manager for Kristin Michaels Greetings, a social expression company. Kristin Michaels supplies high quality traditional and alternative greeting cards and related products. Mike started his job in July 2002, shortly after graduating from St. Lawrence University.
Math on the job:
- Mike’s responsibilities include overseeing employees and sales people in the field in a six-state area, and keeping all account information up to date in the database. He searches for new product lines and works to expand seasonal sales. He is also involved in creating computer software to streamline seasonal sales. Mike says “I use mathematics daily in this position. In addition to basic mathematics, I use Microsoft Excel, and regularly do statistical analysis for the ratio of different product lines based on race and gender.” Mike says the job is very interesting. Recently, he has been studying demographics in sales territories to develop a ratio to blend Hispanic, African American and Jewish products into specific accounts. Mike says “Accounts are studied individually, not as a whole. Neighborhoods vary greatly throughout the northeast from rural, to suburbs, to urban areas.” Mike also does statistical analysis on the type of account – supermarket, pharmacy, party store, discount store, gift store or dollar store, and he notes that gender related products play a great role in expanding sales. “These variables need constant work as the market place changes frequently.”
- Mike graduated in May 2002 from St. Lawrence University with a combined major in Mathematics-Economics. He says that his courses in Statistics and Calculus are the most applicable to the job, but adds that “Higher level mathematics courses promote analytical thinking that is essential to a job like this.” Mike adds that he believes his undergraduate internship helped prepare him for his job. He completed this internship while on a program abroad in Kenya, and did research to analyze and develop a business plan of sustainability in the vast Kenyan landscape.
Advice for students:
- Mike knows that his mathematics background helped him land this interesting job, and says “Mathematics courses are the building blocks for a person who is unrivaled in the workforce.”