How I Went from Beer Sales Developer to Analytics Consultant


How I Went from Beer Sales Developer to Analytics Consultant

by Kendra Allenspach

"How I Went from" is an ongoing blog series that highlights our employees' different journeys to InterWorks. The results are pretty diverse, but each story is special in its own right.

When I was younger, I used to always imagine what my job would be when I grew up. A sales professional like my mom? A financial professional like my dad? Maybe start my own business one day? Maybe I could take our neighborhood lemonade stand national!

Combining a Love for Communication and Technology

When I went to college, I knew that I wanted to attend Business School. It seemed like the most logical choice in order to eventually get that corporate job that would provide the financial security I wanted and the chance to “make a name for myself” somewhere. But when it came to choosing a major, it was more a process of elimination than picking something I wanted to do. I knew I didn’t want to do accounting or finance; math was never my strongest suit. Operations and supply chain management just sounded boring. International business didn’t really interest me. So marketing it was!

My favorite classes in school were business communications, as well as business technology. But at the time, I just saw those two things as pieces of other jobs—not something that could be my job. Majoring to become a business analyst or analytics consultant wasn’t really a thing. And to be honest, I didn’t really think I was smart or technical enough to turn my love of Excel and speaking to people into its own career path.

Above: Enjoying my first job with Anheuser-Busch

Fast forward a few years: I graduated with a dual major in marketing and entrepreneurship/corporate innovation. I joined Anheuser-Busch’s Sales Development Program and was immediately launched into beer sales 101. While I enjoyed it (I mean what college grad wouldn’t want to have endless supplies of free beer for her friends right out of college!?), it just didn’t fulfill me the way I had hoped.

The Transition to Analytics

Next thing I knew, I moved into an analytics role for the company in Dallas, TX. I took the position because I was told it would make me a stronger candidate to move into a larger sales market back in the field. I didn’t expect to really enjoy the analytics or thrive in a role that was behind a computer all day. I’d always been told I was a people person and should be out in front of customers. But what I found was that my people-person skills really allowed me to excel (pun intended) in the analytics space because I could communicate with the team about data in a way others could not.

Above: “Excelling” in my pursuits of analytics

When it came time to leave Anheuser-Busch, I was eager to try analytics outside of the Consumer Product Goods space, but it was harder to switch industries than I anticipated. Luckily, I found two wonderful managers at Quadratic Insights who were willing to take a chance on me. Despite never having used Tableau before, they took me at my word that I was a fast learner and hired me as a Tableau Developer for their growing Data Visualization and Business Intelligence team. How grateful I am they took that chance!

At Quadratic Insights, I was able to expand my knowledge of Tableau and delve deeper into using visual analytics as a process for uncovering insights in data. I really felt like I had tapped into a new passion. Tableau transformed my analytics process for the better, and now, I can’t imagine digging into a large dataset without it! Plus, it put me on a career path that led to a job where I truly feel like I’m doing what I have always been meant to do.

Above: Back home in California at Big Sur

While I really enjoyed my job at Quadratic Insights, I decided last June that I wanted to move to California to be closer to my family. Since Quadratic Insights is a local Dallas-based company, I started seeking opportunities elsewhere. I immediately thought of InterWorks, as I had the fortune of working with them as a client during my time in Dallas. InterWorks had helped us grow and scale our Tableau practice at the company, and I thoroughly enjoyed all my interactions with their team in that process. As I went to apply, I hoped that I would make the cut and be a HELL YES! Fortunately, everything fell into place.

Where People and Problem Solving Meet

Now, my new career as an analytics consultant at InterWorks lets me combine my three favorite things: data, people and problem solving! It has granted me the ability to live where I want so I can be close to my family, while still working with incredible clients all over the country. I have encountered data problems I didn’t know existed and conquered challenges that seemed so daunting at first glance. I am surrounded by wildly smart individuals across the IT and Business Intelligence space that make me smarter each day and provide mentorship, making me a better consultant and person.

As I look around at my peers and even those further along in their careers than me, I feel extremely fortunate to have found myself in a position where I truly feel like I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I am meant to do. I am grateful for each experience that has guided me here. It’s incredible where life can take you when you’re not expecting it.

Above: Meeting up with some of the InterWorks team in Portland, Oregon

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More About the Author

Kendra Allenspach

Analytics Architect
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