Smeal Alumni in Profile: Alumnus finds niche through hard work, commitment

Alumnus Jared Satkoff, a 2008 marketing graduate, said his time at the Penn State Smeal College of Business prepared him to work hard and pursue his career in more ways than he expected. Only five years out of school, he has worked his way up to senior district manager at ADP, a payroll services company with an office in Philadelphia.

Though his first few months on the job were a challenge, he soon realized he had found his niche in sales, achieving the title of senior district manager and several awards for high performance in his five years.

“Turnover is high in the payroll industry, so it’s hard to gain clients’ trust,” said Satkoff.

Through cold-calling businesses in his assigned territory, he eventually made his first President’s Club — putting him in the top 10 percent of sales reps across the country. He has gone on to achieve four more President’s Clubs, four Pinnacle Awards and three consecutive Board of Directors Awards, tapping him as one of the top 10 reps in the country for the fiscal year.

Satkoff credits much of his drive and ability to succeed to his Penn State education, including the exposure to diversity — not just with regard to ethnicities but also to types of people and personalities.

“You have to approach different people in different ways, so at Penn State you learn a lot about how to interact and persuade,” he said. “Out in the real world, I was able to understand all different personalities in business.”

He also said that the many group projects he worked on as a student helped him to hone his communication skills.

“The group projects we did required a lot of back-and-forth communication and eventually coming to a place of agreement where there might not have been before,” he said. “You learn so much without even realizing it,” he said.

The personal work ethic that helped Satkoff succeed in his first few years as a sales rep for ADP was also something he exercised at Penn State, whether it was getting up to walk 25 minutes to that 8 a.m. class or holding a part-time job throughout his years at school. And that commitment has paid off for him in the business world as well.

In addition to his job with ADP, Satkoff also dabbles in real estate, owning three investment properties in the Philadelphia area: “I think it’s important to keep yourself diversified and not have all your eggs in one basket,” he said.

Smeal Alumni in ProfileA Penn State Smeal College of Business degree prepares students for a vast array of career opportunities. Catch up with recent graduates of Smeal via our regular Alumni in Profile feature, which details the unique paths alumni take as they embark on their professional lives. The Smeal alumni network is more than 73,000 members strong. They're doing impactful work in diverse fields all over the globe, and many of them are also involved in giving back to the Smeal College of Business. Previously profiled alumni include:

-- Bernice Innocent (management, '06): A management graduate with a human resources concentration starts a nonprofit organization to help high school students achieve their full potential.

-- Shubha Janardhan (management science and information systems, '04): A management science and information systems graduate initiates a new service in her family company focused on mom and baby wellness.


Last Updated September 10, 2013