University of Idaho alum finds success with multibillion-dollar company
When University of Idaho alumni Sam Silberman launched into his final semester in Spring 2017, he had no idea what he wanted to do after graduation.
With a marketing degree complemented by an emphasis in entrepreneurship, he figured at least having a business degree was the smart thing to do, he said. Plus, he could always fall back on working for the same pest control company he had worked for in the past, maybe even franchise one of their locations.
“Even though I had something lined up after graduation, I decided I didn’t want to sell myself short, so I decided to attend the career fair just to see what was available,” Silberman said. “I went in blind, but decided I was going to talk to as many companies as I could to get information on what all was out there.”
After visiting with 30 employers, Silberman interviewed and landed a job with Consolidated Electrical Distributors (CED). Drawn in by the company culture of being upfront and honest, he said the fun work environment also caught his attention.
Initially hired into the management training program two weeks after graduation, Silberman spent time in every position of the company traveling between Boise and Longview, Washington. He said moving locations allowed him to experience different regional markets and learn from a variety of managers.
Now the profit center manager of a location in Centralia, Washington, he said his job encompasses sales management, human resources, profit and loss responsibilities, marketing and vendor relationships. He said he is able to work with a fun group of hardworking men and women who are part of a fast-paced industry of industrial automation and American manufacturing.
“I didn’t expect to be where I am right now at such a young age,” Silberman said. “This company really gives you the opportunity to be on a fast track to a management position where your influence can make a big difference at a local level.”
Josh Spicer, CED operations manager, said he remembers his conversation with Silberman because Silberman made eye contact, believed in himself and was excited, even though he didn’t have a plan for his career at the time. Spicer said Silberman had a strong personal culture of extracurriculars and goals that matched Consolidated Electrical Distributors.
“Sam is very approachable, energetic, laid back and smart,” Spicer said. “He is now one year into running a multibillion-dollar business, maintaining competition on a global scale and talking to customers to analyze how to better assist their needs.”
Spicer said the company helps employees such as Silberman grow through leadership rather than strictly management. He said this entrepreneurial outlook gives employees such Silberman the chance to make their own decisions and handle problems as they see fit.
“As a recruiter, my advice for undergraduates attending the career fair is to talk to people who you have no idea what they do,” Spicer said. “We tend to surround ourselves with the familiarity, but I suggest not sticking to the familiar.”