I recently had the chance to chat with Alan Shields. He is a distinguished business management professional, with a wide variety of experiences. Check out our interview below, as he shares his story and provides several tips for success.
1. Q: Can you tell our readers more about yourself?
A: My name is Alan Shields. I graduated from UCLA with a BA in History. Afterwards, I continued my education at the University of Redlands, where I obtained my MA in Business Management. My most recent accomplishment is serving as a National In-Market Sales Manager at Caesars Entertainment Corporation.
2. Q: As a National In-Market Sales Manager at Caesars Entertainment Corporation, what are some of your daily responsibilities?
A: As an in-market sales manager, my responsibilities are to engage with clients from my market on a daily basis. I am responsible for building solid relationships that make it clear to my clients that their event is going to be successful at Caesars Entertainment properties. Some days I will have coffee with clients, other days I spend calling on new prospective clients.
3. Q: Being a leader in a corporate setting takes a lot of responsibility. What are 3 tips that you have for anyone who is looking to get into management?
A: Great question. Tip #1: don’t be afraid to take risks: failure only makes you better. Tip #2: it takes time to learn a new role. Never jump in thinking you know everything. Be a sponge and soak in what others are doing around you, and tweak what works best for your own style. Tip #3: work hard every day. Some days I might drive over 200 miles in order to meet with my clients. I sit in traffic on a daily basis. But, I know that hard work pays off.
4. Q: There seems to be a rise in business conferences, pitch events, and more. How has this new startup culture affected your line of work?
A: Up until 2006/2007 there was a boom in the meetings and convention industry. But like every other industry, the recession took a toll on the meetings business. In 2015 there has been a resurgent for the industry. A lot of planners were booking venues 90-180 days before a conference, and they were getting pretty much anything they wanted. Now, if you are not looking a year out, it will be tough to find a great venue. I think meeting and convention planners understand the volume that is coming back.
5. Q: What is one of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned in life?
A: The greatest lesson that I’ve learned is that hard work always pays off.
6. Q: Your company awarded you as one of top 10 Sales Managers (congrats). How did you achieve such a prestigious accolade?
A: I am committed to working with the best clients in the world of meetings and conventions. In additional, I have been able to work for a company that understands the value of meetings. With those two components, I have been very successful at creating the perfect venues for my clients. Without either one of those, it would not have been possible.
7. Q: Can you share some of your future goals and aspirations with us?
A: I really have a passion for learning and educating. I hope to one day be able to pass my knowledge on to future generations, so that they can have the opportunity to do it better.