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From the Sports World to Technology Sales – What Natalie Has Learned Along the Way!

Lisa Yeaton Senior Specialist, Social Media Published 23 Nov 2020

Natalie is known for being a go-getter. When she sets her sights on something, nothing will stop her from achieving her goals. Natalie grew up playing sports and all her hard work paid off when she received a basketball full-ride athletic scholarship to attend Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. She was always inspired to be the best she could be by her mother – she never felt discouraged competing head to head with the boys or being the only girl on the court. Her initiative and ambitious spirit have led her to success. See how Natalie advances with us!  

What drew you to Extreme?

I’m originally from Andover, MA which is only about 15 minutes from Extreme’s Salem, NH office. I grew up playing sports, which led me to accept a role at NBC Sports Boston as an advertising sales coordinator. I was happy at NBC right out of college, but when I got a call from a recruiter who told me about Extreme Networks, the technology, and the opportunity, I had to learn more.

It was a tough decision to leave a good and stable job for the unknown, but I’m so happy I went with my gut and took the chance to come to Extreme. It’s a decision that I can’t imagine not having made. I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason, and now I’m in the role doing what I always wanted, so I couldn’t be happier.   

What is it like to work in sales?

It’s fast and it’s exciting! I’ve been at Extreme now for four years and I’ve been promoted to three different sales roles. I’ve learned and seen the full sales cycle throughout each of my experiences. Selling differs between who you’re working with, in what region, and what market. There’s always something to learn – I’ve seen it firsthand. I’m a better saleswoman because I’ve been able to pick things up quickly, ask questions, and learn.

What is your favorite memory from your tenure at Extreme?

Definitely my first-ever sales kickoff conference in Las Vegas. It was 2017, I had never been to an SKO event before, so it was an amazing experience being on the strip and getting to meet all my colleagues from across the country. I was working in the Salem, NH office, but I was covering the West Coast vertical, so I hadn’t met many of my colleagues in person. SKO gave me the opportunity to finally meet all the teammates I’d been on countless calls with. Having the opportunity to bond with them and celebrate the end of the fiscal year was really beneficial to me and helped continue the sales momentum into the next fiscal year. 

[Natalie and her colleagues at SKO]

Do you have any advice for college grads that want to pursue a career similar to yours?

A few things.

  1. Don’t let a challenge stop you. Always be willing to try something new. Accept new challenges because you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.      
  2. Don’t be afraid to fail. If you fall, you’re going to get back up again. Maybe you’ll realize that wasn’t meant for you or that you need to change something, but at least you went for it and gave it a shot.  
  3. You win and lose as a team. Always remember that. At Extreme, we all have the same mentality – to win and advance together. We help each other out to succeed individually and as a team.

Why do you think diversity and inclusion are important?

Everybody has their own voice and opinion, but I think a lot of people don’t step up to the plate and express it. When companies like Extreme empower employees and make them feel included it helps people to get out of their comfort zone and speak their minds. A lot of people come up with great ideas, but if they’re scared to share them it’s not going to help the business. I love that Extreme wants to know how employees feel and asks how we can do better as a whole. Everyone has a part to play in making the workplace feel inclusive, and when you’re on a great team no one is left behind.

Can you tell us something people may not know about you?

My husband and I are expecting our first child! We’re so excited and I’m so grateful for all of my colleagues at Extreme that have shared advice with me. Also, due to COVID, we had a very special social distancing party to reveal the baby’s sex. On Halloween, our family came over dressed in boy and girl costumes, and then we found out that we’re having a BOY this March! 

Join Natalie and the rest of the team!

Visit our careers page to explore opportunities in sales as well as the many other roles in which you can advance and help Extreme drive effortless networking experiences for enterprises worldwide.

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