We’ve known Scott Hudson for several years now. He’s a quiet and humble, yet personable and smart sport professional. We’ve followed Scott from his time in college studying sport to the industry where we find him today. From one NEW to the next. He started New Balance a couple of years ago and now works for New Era Cap Company. He is currently an Account Support Representative with them. We were able to catch up with him. We asked him questions about his journey. Below, we share the transcript of our chat.
Tell us about your role as an Account Support Representative with New Era?
My role with New Era is officially titled an Account Support Representative. As a support rep, my role is revolved around different duties and tasks that are customer service oriented.
I support one of our sales reps who covers Quebec and the eastern provinces. Frequent interaction with him and other sales reps, customers and co-workers to ensure specific requests and or issues are dealt with in a respectful and timely manner are part of my daily routine. A large portion of my role is focused on order entry and tracking using SAP software.
We also must start a credit or return process once approved by simply entering it into SAP like how we would enter a standard order. Ensuring orders are entered accurately to the assigned accounts/customers, along with making sure they ship on time within correct requested dates. We also are requested to provide image and product details efficiently to customers for increased accuracy.
Establishing effective relationships with our reps and customers is a big part of what drives our success. I’m part of a team of 3 other support reps and my supervisor. It does have its hectic parts but there are also times where things slow down a little bit. Things are a bit crazy at the moment as we’re trying to ensure orders for the Canadian Football League (CFL) are being sent on time as we’re the official sponsor for the league this season.
We know you have a diploma in sport and some experience in the field. Could you tell us how you found this job?
Funny enough I actually found it on Indeed! I was job hunting one day and saw the posting. Since my educational background in sport management and always having this hobby I considered of mine to collect hats, it seemed like a good fit.
What threw me off actually is they’re headquarters are located in Buffalo. So when I got the call for an interview it was from Buffalo. It’s funny because I ignored it at first but then got a message about an interview and quickly called back!
So you had the option to continue onto a third year for your diploma. You opted to leave after your second year. You still received a diploma, but in Sport Administration instead of Sport Management. What went into that decision?
Well, I had made my goal when I started to finish after 2 years, even though the third year had the internship opportunities. I went into the program knowing I’d be a bit older than most so I figured once I got the diploma, I should get started trying to get into the industry.
Then there’s also personal situations that I had to work around. Such as living and growing up in Mississauga my whole life, my family wanted to move towards the Niagara just after I finished my first year.
I wasn’t intending on staying out there for too long as I ended up moving back to Mississauga a few months after I graduated. I felt there were more opportunities the closer I am to the city. It was a tough decision not to do the 3rd year as I know the internship helps a lot in landing a job in the industry. Plus, the majority of my classmates did the third year but I feel like I stayed patient and took my opportunities when they came and everything seemed to have worked out fairly well so far.
New Balance was definitely an interesting experience. It was kind of ironic because I moved back to Mississauga but didn’t have a job at the time. I applied for about 2 months and was applying to some that were and weren’t sport related. I saw that position and just applied cause I knew a bit about the brand. Never had any retail or supervisor/managing experience at all but I got an interview and the store manager seemed to like my personality and gave me a shot.
It was a bit tough at first because I grew up always being a shy kid so going out and greeting customers all the time was a bit nerve-racking. But I got by it pretty quickly as I used to work at an arena for the City of Mississauga so it was almost more of a refreshing type feeling. It was good though because there was so much more to learn there then just selling shoes/product. We also had to learn about foot ailments and understand how to properly fit customers into the right product.
I did enjoy the atmosphere there with my co-workers because it was very easy-going and we got a long great. Also, our store was unique as we had a lot of seniors shop there so being able to help them get the best product for them and seeing how gracious they were for the help was one of the better parts of the job. I never thought I would ever work in retail but its kind of ironic because it also in a way helped get the job I have now. So I went from front line retail to corporate retail in a sense.
I hate saying this but I often feel like I would still be there to be honest if it paid a bit better [laughs]. but then again there’s pros and cons to working in sport [laughs].
When you finished high school, you worked in various positions for the City of Mississauga. Can you explain why you chose to work before embarking on school?
So when I finished high school, I really didn’t have any idea what I wanted to. I figured I would just work and then once I found what I’d want to pursue, I’d go to school to increase my chances of finding a career related to that industry. It did take a few years for me to realize what I wanted to do. I tried a trade program at Sheridan in 2013. But that didn’t work out. I realized it was more of me listening to what others thought would be a good career path.
“I took some more time to try and find what I was passionate about, and every time I kept thinking to myself. Sports are that!”
What do I like to read about, talk about, or hear about? It was always sports. I finally realized that you can have a career in sports and not be an athlete. I always had this mindset that if you’re not an athlete then you couldn’t work in sports. Once I found the variety of sport management programs, I made the decision to finally pursue a career in sports. I am glad I made the choice pursue a career in sports because I am where I want to be. Working as a Account Support Representative for New Era, a company I love and respect, is great.
Can you describe tools used daily in your role as Account Support Representative for New Era?
1. SAP: This was one tool I’ve actually had to learn how to use during my time at New Era. As mentioned earlier, it’s essential for how we enter and process orders. It’s also useful for gathering information for certain accounts/customers. I find I’m still learning new things on how to get the best use out of it.
2. Outlook: One of the two main points of contact for myself (the other being the phone). But the vast majority of requests come through email. It could be a rep asking for order entry or inquiry. Or it could be a customer asking for an update of some sort.
3. Excel: Order forms that we have are usually created on excel. These will normally have all the required information that is needed to enter the order and also to make my job easier when searching for certain information. I also use it if I were to transfer requested items from the US.
4. Company Website: We have an internal website called ‘New Era Word’ and it a very helpful tool in terms of locating specific information and any updates company-wide. It provides various search engines for us to locate images, details, and reports on product.
Finally, what advice would you give to those aspiring to work in the sports apparel part of the industry?
To just follow your passion and be patient. Not everything is going to fall into place at once. Some people know what they want right away, for others it just takes time and that’s okay. Focusing on yourself is one key aspect I’ve learned.
Don’t worry about what others are doing and where they are in their life. As long as you focus on your best interest and what your passion is. Opportunities will eventually come and do your best to take advantage of those opportunities. I am able to say that I am happy with what I do now as an Account Support Representative for New Era. I know it sounds cliche, but do what you love. Loving what you do is extremely important. I realized that a tad bit later than most, but I am glad to finally be here!
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