President Amanda Snowden Shares Her Journey from Entry-Level to C-Level Executive

Hard Work, Passion and a Strong Work Ethic Got Me Here

As a female business executive and leader in my industry, I feel it is important to empower others by sharing my journey. This path certainly wasn’t in my ten-year plan. In fact, I didn’t even have a plan when I graduated from college more than 15 years ago. Over that period, I worked the stereotypical corporate job in a cubicle. I tried an entry-level position with a small business with no benefits and no job description, and I worked my way into directing operations for that company. I then oversaw the acquisition of that company by an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Company. Once there, I went from having no formal title (or clearly specified role) to COO and finally to President of this company. Now, I have hit my stride and found my passion. So, how did I get here?

College Graduation is Looming. Uh Oh.

During the summer before my senior year in college, I realized that I had to get a job and join the rat race soon. With no real idea of what I wanted to do, my mentor and marketing professor suggested a summer internship. Sure, why not? So, I joined StandardAero, an aviation service company, as a marketing intern for the government services division. It was wonderful, and it was my first “real” job. I worked long, hard days, but I was happy to be learning. To start, they wanted me to really understand the company and what we sold. So, for the first few weeks, I literally worked in the factory alongside various teams learning about how airplane engines are made, painted, maintained, and what types of planes need what kinds of engines. Before this, I had no real understanding or interest in airplanes, let alone their engines. I embraced the role.

The fact that I rotated through every part of the company to better understand what we offered is something that deeply impacted me. It is something I continue to offer today to new employees. To sell it, you must understand it. You must ask questions. You have to turn the wrench. Around the lunch table, you talk about what you love (and hate) about your job and what you would do differently if given the chance. That, too, stuck with me. It’s important that you get feedback from the people working with you to stay in tune with what matters most to them. It was an incredible, exhausting summer, but it planted a seed.

After graduating cum laude from Trinity University in San Antonio, StandardAero offered me a full-time position. I was so thrilled to have a job offer that I forgot to even take some time to celebrate my graduation (which I do not recommend). I got my old cubicle back and fell in with my old teammates. Since I knew the key points of the position, I was able to take on more responsibilities very quickly. However, when working for various government agencies, I couldn’t be as creative as I wanted to be. So, when an entry level, non-titled, full-time position of sorts opened at a small law firm marketing agency, I wanted to give it a shot. My dad (former military, 40-year veteran of the Dallas Fire Department) made me talk to a CPA and write out plans before I jumped ship from job security and health insurance to… not much. I did all those things, and I am glad that I did. It helped me realize more of what I really wanted. I wanted to be creative, to lead, to teach and to travel. Attorneys Online, Inc. offered that to me.

Follow me on my journey next week as I describe starting at the bottom and working my way up.

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Author Amanda Snowden