Interview with Ryan Yingling
Name: Ryan Yingling
Major and graduation year: Business Administration with a concentration in Management 2004
Job Title: General Manager
Organization/ Place of work: Screen Graphics/Uniform Connection-Screenprinting, Embroidery, Uniforms, and Promotional Products
You're a General Manager, what does that entail? What are your duties or responsibilities?
-I am responsible for day to day operations, in charge of all employees, customer service, graphic artists, production, purchasing, and sales. I am also responsible for bookkeeping, human resources, A/P, A/R, etc….pretty much anything and everything in operation of the business.
What are the highlights of your job that you enjoy most?
-I love the day to day contact with my staff and customers.I also love watching a customer come in with an idea and everyone pulling together from CSR's, to the artist, to production, and then the final product.There is a great sense of accomplishment when you see the faces of the customers when they receive their products!We also are able to adapt and change very quickly, "on the fly", to suit our customers' needs/wants.
What are the challenges that you face with your job that are not enjoyable?
-As much as I love my staff, it also brings a unique number of challenges.We are a small business with 11 employees so we work very closely together and know each other very well.It is a challenge to balance co-worker and boss.When discipline is needed, it is difficult to wear different hats in the business and go from co-worker/friend to disciplinarian very quickly.
How do you spend your work days? Do you spend a lot of time office/lab/meetings/outside/___?
-Most of my time is spent between my office and in production.I do spend a certain amount of time in meetings both inside and outside the business.I am constantly trying to juggle between reporting, production, and sales.
How did this type of job/field interest you and how did you get started?
-This industry is brand new to me.I have been with SG/UC for about 1 ½ years, but I have been managing businesses for nearly 10 years.I have always been drawn to managing and motivating people since I can remember.Every job I have ever had, I have always eventually been put into a management position.
What qualifications did you need to obtain this job?
-My biggest qualification was my experience.I have over 15 years of management experience, but to get that experience, my degree in business management is what got me in the door in most of those jobs.It was a good combination of both.
What personal qualities or abilities do you believe contribute most to success in this job/field?
-You must be open to change.On a daily basis, you must change and adapt with your customer.If they change their buying habits or the ways they obtain products, you must change with them or they will find someone else.The biggest example of that is social media.Since I was hired, we have increased our Facebook presence to attract more customers and to give them an easier access to us.
What organizations were you involved in College that helped you towards your career?
-I was not involved in many organizations in college, because of lack of time.I worked full time and went school full-time.I often worked 30-40 hours per week, had anywhere from 12-18 credits, and work 10-20 hours a week at my internship/work study.What this did do was, teach me outstanding time management skills, which I use every day.It is difficult to balance everything I need to do on a daily basis, between work and personal life.I would recommend being involved in as many "social or community" organizations as possible, such as the Superior Jaycees.Since I have been involved with them, I have made great contacts that have helped me along, both personally and professionally.
What degree/s is appropriate for this line of work?
-Both of my degrees are appropriate for this line of work.I also have a degree in Marketing from WITC-Superior.I use what I have learned in both my Marketing and Business Management degrees everyday and have helped me get to where I am today.
Where and/or what do you hope to be in 2-5 years? 5-10 years? What are the keys to this career advancement?
-I really hope to still be in this position in the next 5-10 years, but hopefully have helped this business double in size and increased our market share in this community.
What was the best piece of advice you received and from who that helped you towards your career?
-I don't think I have any words of advice per say, but more of me learning from my mentor.By watching how he conducted himself both personally and professionally, he showed me to be the best at whatever I was doing.He is also an outstanding leader.The things I have learned from him in past ten years have been invaluable to me.
Do you have any advice or "words from experience" for a college student interested in this job/field?
-Keep your mind open.The direction you want to go is not necessarily the same road you will end up on.Keep learning as much as you can, and be humble enough to accept help from others that will help shape you as a manager and leader.
If you knew all this back in college, what would you say were the most important classes? Is there anything you would have paid more attention to? Any additional classes you would have taken?
-I honestly would have taken more sociology classes and learned more about human behavior.I am constantly learning from people and learning how to interact with different people.I also would have paid more attention to accounting classes.I was on a path to be a manager and didn't think I would need a wide selection of knowledge.In my current career, I am a manager, but also a bookkeeper.I have had to relearn a lot of information from college in the past couple years.
In college, people claim that a bachelor's degree isn't enough anymore and that you need a master's or doctorate degree to get your foot in the door. What's your opinion?
-My opinion is that it depends.I think in my situation, it was more important that I had a degree and my experience is what got me the job.It may depend on the situation.