By Kate Young ’14
All summer we’ve been talking to Champlain College students with jobs and internships all over the country. While there have been tons of fun, interesting, and unique experiences that have popped up, a few absolutely crazy jobs really caught my eye.
One in particular was that of Julien Tremblay, a Champlain student who is spending his summer as a knife salesman.
Tremblay ’15, is currently studying Communications with an audio production specialization. He works at Champlain as a student ambassador, which means he works at open houses, gives tours, and helps show off our school to prospective students. Beyond that he has worked with the most recent theater production on campus, helped first start up the PC gaming club, and has played various sports. He also of course enjoys playing guitar and long walks on the beach.
This summer, Tremblay landed a job with Cutco Cutlery and Vector Marketing. He is a sales representative and is responsible for making appointments to demo his product. He goes to people’s homes, talks to them about Cutco cutlery knives, does demonstrations, and compares Cutco knives to theirs.
After receiving a letter in the mail with details about the position, Tremblay called up the company and went in for an interview. Impressing the company with his knife puns and love of people, he landed the gig and his career in knives was up and running.
Tremblay explains that when he tells people about his summer job most people think it’s weird, ridiculous, and a scam. He, on the other hand, doesn’t believe that they really get the “point” (buhdumchh).
With this job, putting in hard work really does pay off. After the first few days Tremblay had a $350 paycheck. The gig is 16.50 an hour or commission pay off of what you sell, and the company will give him whichever ended up being more each week. Doesn’t seem so ridiculous after that, does it?
“My favorite part is doing the demos with individuals. I really love talking and showing off a product that I think is really cool and getting to know random people has really been a blast. Driving around all day listening to music to do a bunch of demos and get people as excited as I am about the product has been really awesome!”
For him, the weirdest aspect is having to make phone calls to set up demos for potential sales. They are not allowed to do cold calls or go door to door, so he had to start off by calling friends, family, and people he’d feel comfortable approaching with a trunk full of knives. From there he has to get recommendations and work his way around.
Though it has been an interesting challenge, being a knife salesman has certainly taught Tremblay lessons beyond those on the resume. He explains, “Cutco has taught me how difficult working in sales really is. It has taught me how to present both myself and a product in a professional way, how to deal with rejection, and how to effectively communicate with people and build rapport.” Tremblay adds that he has also learned how to work as a part of a group and how you have to wake up and be excited about your job no matter what it is.
While being a knife salesman was a great summer job, Tremblay is excited about landing a fall internship with local business, Signal Kitchen Studios, which is more fitting with his field of study.