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  • Writer's pictureAlison Monette

Sophia - Roadmap to Buying and Selling Candy

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

What do you do for a living?

Senior Manager Trade Analytics at Ferrara Candy Company. I'm in charge of a team of 12 people who review the market to determine how to price our products.

What does a day at your job look like?

It's primarily solving problems around pricing issues. For example, a customer submits a price that doesn’t match our price, how do we solve this issue creatively so everyone benefits? I train others on the rules behind competitive pricing and how to negotiate cost to turn an internal profit. I spend time mentoring my team to resolve issues, and then sum up our processes to explain to senior leadership. I work with executive management to evaluate mergers and acquisitions, develop and implement sales/trade planning management tools, manage sales planning and forecasting and ensure trade optimization.

What path did you take to get here?

Graduated High School -->

Got a Bachelor's in Finance at Howard University -->

Moved to Chicago for an internship -->

Got a job at LaSalle Bank as a Credit Analyst approving loans for small businesses, which dissolved when they were bought by Bank of America -->

Moved to a job at Kraft Foods in Commodity Pricing and Customer Contract Price Modeling, so I was reviewing price contracts for accuracy and detail -->

Moved to Ferrara Candy Company as an associate and have worked my way up over 10 years to my current position

What are the Challenges of your job?

1. Making everyone happy. Balancing what our company wants, what the sales people want and what our customers want.

2. Staying current on industry trends. I attend candy shows to keep up on innovation and trends so I know how to price products to be competitive.

What are the blessings of your job?

1. It’s a fun company! You're surrounded by candy everyday.

2. I take a lot of pleasure in developing my team, watching them grow, and then promoting them.

What 3 characteristics do you have to possess or develop to do your job well?

1. Attention to detail

2. Enjoyment of problem solving

3. Willingness to have fun while working. You can still have personality, even in finance. Be able to laugh at work.

What are 3 concrete things you’d tell someone on their journey to doing your job?

1. Find a way to tailor what you enjoy doing into something you’re good at.

2. Get a mentor. I wouldn’t be where I am today without a mentor. Once you can, become a mentor for someone else.

3. Get comfortable with public speaking.

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