technical sales specialist, taught herself the technical knowledge
needed to research merchandise for the Computer Store & Service Center.
Sales and Service, Technically Speaking
|Q: How many years
have you worked at Wesleyan as a technical sales specialist?
A: Iíve been with Wesleyan for five years, four of those as the technical
sales specialist. Before that I worked for a year as an administrative
assistant in Finance and Administration.
Q: What is the purpose of the Computer Store & Service Center and who does
the store service?
A: The Computer Store & Service Center is here to provide technical products
and services to the Wesleyan community. We offer computers and accessories
for sale, as well as computer repair services. Itís actually a three-tier
system. I research merchandise for the store and for the Wesleyan community;
the students operate the store front; and the technicians repair the
Q: Are you more at the sales-end of things, or are you interested in the
hardware/software as well?
A: Iím on the purchasing end, which includes hardware, software and
everything in between.
Q: How did you acquire your technical expertise?
A: My computer and software skills are self-taught. I bought my first
computer in 1992 and just began poking around. The hardware technical skills
are from having a natural curiosity about how things operate and listening
to the service technicians.
Q: What is the hottest item for sale in the Computer Store?
A: The hottest item we sell, and the most popular, is the Apple iPod.
Everybody wants one! We have the newest in stock now, which are the 30GB and
60GB video iPods.
Q: What are the most common questions people ask you?
A: On the research and purchasing end of things, people generally ask me
about availability and price of an item theyíre searching for. In the store,
people generally ask the students about headphones and Microsoft Office.
Q: What is the best part about working in the Computer Store? Is your job
A: I enjoy being able to help people find what theyíre searching for and at
a price that is competitive with, or better than, area retailers. We serve
such a diversified customer base that every day brings a different
Q: What are your job duties as a technical sales specialist?
A: My responsibilities include listening to members of the Wesleyan
community to determine their needs, performing merchandise research,
processing purchase orders, maintaining accounts payable, reconciling daily
accounts and deposits, acting as vendor liaison and providing administrative
support for the store manager.
Q: How do you spend most of your day?
A: The majority of my time is spent researching merchandise for the Wesleyan
community. Faculty, staff and students e-mail or call me with requests for
specific software or equipment. I use my vendor contacts and various
Internet search engines to locate what they need. The next biggest part of
my day is processing invoices and keeping the accounts payable up-to-date.
Iím actually only behind the counter when the students arenít available.
Q: What did you major in?
A: I received my bachelorís of business administration from Tiffin
University in 1998. I will receive my masterís of arts in liberal studies
from Wesleyan in May 2006.
Q: Who are the key people that work in the store with you?
A: We currently have two students, Matt and Earle, working the store
counter; one temp, Ginny, who answers the phone and files; three full-time
computer technicians, Bob Elsinger, Glenn Carlson and Scott Michael who
service the computers; and the store manager, Allen Alonzo.
Q: If a department hires a new employee, would someone there contact you to
get a system set up for that new employee?
A: Yes, most of the computer sales for Wesleyan are through us. When a new
hire is scheduled, the desktop support personnel for that department will
order a computer from us. The technicians put the Wesleyan ďcapitalĒ image
on the computer, which consists of standard software used campus-wide.
Q: Do you personally use a Mac or PC? Are you a high-tech-junkie?
A: I used to have a Windows computer, but since working here, Iíve switched
to a 20-inch iMac. I have a 60GB iPod, which holds my entire music
collection, as well as audio books and photos. Since Iím anxiously waiting
for a larger iPod, I guess you could say Iím a high-tech-junkie!
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Iím an avid reader and writer, always carrying a book or notebook
wherever I go. Iím currently working on a book of short stories. I also
enjoy crocheting baby afghans and bonnets for hospitals.
Q: Tell me about your family.
A: Iím married to Brian, a transportation planner for Bradley International
Airport. I have two sons. Bryan, 20, is also a high-tech fan, who lives and
works in Ohio. Matthew, 17, attends Middletown High School and volunteers in
the animal lab here at Wesleyan. Weíre all movie buffs and have a pretty
extensive DVD collection.
Q: What would you say is the most unique thing about you?
A: I have a need to please! As the middle daughter of six children, Iíve
always been the negotiator, advisor or mediator who smoothes ruffled
feathers. People seem to recognize that Iíll listen and help when I can.
Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection