While Andy and I have never met, we are connected through a philanthropic organization that we both were a part of this year, Multiplying Good. You might remember another Multiplying Good interviewee, Jessica Bonnett, from earlier this year, showing that although we are spread out throughout the state of South Carolina, we can still come together through service. Andy's story is one that involves luck, timing, and hard work all coming together to build a successful career, and I know you'll enjoy learning from his experience.
My professional life began fairly early. At nineteen years old, I started my career with Plantation Resort in April 2015 as a Marketing Agent for the timeshare sales division. I saw the ad on Craigslist, called their number and was hired on the spot. Not the most glamorous job, especially being the youngest person on the team with no experience whatsoever, but I loved it.
About a year passed and my manager promoted me to a Lead Marketing Agent, then Associate Marketing Manager shortly afterwards. These positions required me to lead and train others with much more experience than myself. After a few years, I began involvement in hiring, firing, performance management and higher-level strategic planning. The future looked bright and I was excited for where the Plantation Resort marketing team was headed. That is, until a major change was announced.
Towards the end of Summer 2017, we received word that the Resort decided to dissolve its timeshare sales and marketing division, completely turning it over to timeshare conglomerate, Wyndham Vacation Ownership. Unsure of what was to come, I decided to interview with Wyndham and was offered a position as a Marketing Agent. Since then, I've jumped into Resort Operations as Front Desk Manager and was later promoted to Assistant General Manager. If I didn't become comfortable in the uncertain, not pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I wouldn't have experienced the growth that these roles provided me. My career was continuously becoming shaped by luck, and I was along for the ride.
"If I didn't become comfortable in the uncertain, not pushing myself out of my comfort zone, I wouldn't have experienced the growth that these roles provided me with."
Today, after another promotion, I’ve been the General Manager at Grand Palms Resort (formerly Plantation Resort) for just over a year. I’m a 26-year-old managing a resort with a multi-million dollar operating budget and about 150 employees when fully staffed. I’ve been fortunate to climb the proverbial ladder rather quickly, and for that, I’m grateful. Without the many years full of eagerness and determination, I would not be where I am today.
Furthermore, I feel overly grateful for a lot of luck in my professional life. I’m not sure where I would be if I never saw that Craigslist ad and called the number, nor taken that leap into Resort Operations.
"Luck is the intersection where hard work, preparation, and opportunity meet."
Altogether, stay humble, stay willing to learn, and always take the lucky jumps. In fact, I’m writing this after leaving our owner’s office discussing luck. As he told me, “To be successful in business, one must have luck. Luck is the intersection where hard work, preparation, and opportunity meet.” I’ll close with acknowledging that I’ve had one heck of ride finding that intersection and I consider myself among the luckiest people out there. All it took was never doubting myself, and willing to take chances on opportunities offered.
Connect with Andy here!