With humble beginnings, E. & J. Gallo Winery was established in 1933 in Modesto, California, by brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo. It has become the world’s largest winery and the foremost winery in the art of grape growing, winemaking, distribution and marketing of wines. Gallo remains family-owned, spanning four generations of the Gallo family actively working in the business, and employs more than 5,000 employees worldwide. With nine wineries strategically located in wine regions in both California and Washington and access to grapes from vineyards in all of the premier grape-growing areas of both states, Gallo produces wines in every category, to suit every taste. Gallo imports wines from eight of the major wine growing countries in the world.
Cyndy Bagley is a Regional Manager of Training & Recruiting for E. & J. Gallo Winery. She is based in Austin and recruits on college campuses across the southwest. She is one of nine E. & J. Gallo campus recruiters.
Cyndy graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree Agricultural Economics. While she was in college, Cyndy worked on a vineyard and took classes in viticulture and enology. She has been certified by the Society of Wine Educators as a Certified Specialist of Wine.
Cyndy started her career as a distributor Sales Representative, was promoted to a Retail District Sales Manager then went to work directly for E&J Gallo Winery as a Field Marketing Manager Prior to her current position as Regional Manager of Training & Recruiting.
What kinds of opportunities do you recruit on-campus to fill?
Nationally, E. & J. Gallo Winery recruits on various college campuses to fill full-time entry-level sales positions for our accelerated Management Development Program (MDP). The MDP Program helps to bridge the gap between campus and career through extensive, on-the-job training across all aspects of sales. Starting as a Sales Representative with our distributor partners, you’ll receive front-line experience expanding Gallo distribution in an established retail territory. In the next phase, candidates move into a District Sales Manager role, where they assume a direct leadership role and balance responsibilities of developing others and achieving results. Every MDP path is unique, and the final phase of the program may lead you toward a variety of positions. Some common paths include retail or on-premise field marketing manager, customer development, direct to consumer, fine wine or spirits.
At our headquarters in Modesto, CA, we also recruit on-campus for entry-level positions in Engineering, Winemaking, Supply Chain, IT, Finance and Accounting, as well as a variety of other positions.
How important is a student’s specific college major for these opportunities?
Gallo offers a number of opportunities for all types of candidates, and the E. &J. Gallo Winery MDP program accepts applications from all undergraduate majors.
What do you look for in candidates?
At Gallo, we look for candidates that have the ability to Envision opportunities, Enlist partners, Engage a team, and Execute with excellence. We look for candidates with demonstrated experience in these areas, and we specifically focus on leadership experience for the MDP Program.
When it comes to Leadership, we look for demonstrated leadership on campus, at work or through your community. We look for students who really drive the student activities that take place on their campus, and there is a good reason for that: We believe that students who are real leaders on their campuses or in their communities have had experience managing people and projects, delegating responsibilities, and dealing with a variety of stressful situations successfully. In addition, student leaders learn how to manage their time, and time management is important in our business.
How do these traits show up on a student’s resume?
As a college recruiter, I see nearly 2,000 resumes a semester, so it is extremely important that you highlight your major successes clearly, concisely, and accurately on your resume. This is your chance to tell your personal story. When possible, use specific and quantifiable examples to demonstrate your achievements. Use your Campus Career Center as a resource to review your resume as well.
How can students not at your target campuses or those interested in working in other areas of your company apply/express their interest?
For current openings at E. & J. Gallo Winery, please visit the Careers section of the E. & J. Gallo Winery website to see what is available. For specific on-campus recruiting questions, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition to their coursework, what do you recommend students do while they are in college to prepare to enter the workforce?
I believe getting involved on campus, at work, or in your community is important to help you figure out how to manage your time and learn how to lead others. You may go through an adjustment period after college, managing demands from work and personal life (and not getting a Spring Break!) The transition may be easier if you are already accustomed to managing multiple priorities, and staying focused on the task at hand.
What are some of the classic mistakes you have seen students make when interviewing with you?
Not doing their homework. It’s important to research a company prior to interviewing, to understand if this is a company that is right for you. Review the company website, recent articles, and materials that may be at your Campus Career Center.
Not being able to talk about topics on and off your resume. Be prepared with a variety of examples to highlight your own accomplishments and strengths, as well as your opportunities. We realize that you can’t put everything on your resume; we don’t want you to. That being said, we are interested in learning about the whole you and not just the information on your resume. This is your chance to tell your story.
Not asking questions. Always be ready to ask questions. Your questions will help you learn more about the company, and also demonstrate your interest in the company and the opportunities we offer. Be specific with your questions; ask about business trends, opportunities for the future, growth, and direction of the company. This is your time to interview us, use it wisely.
What are some of the most impressive things you have seen students do when interviewing with you?
Students who smile, are energetic, and are eager to tell their story – After all, I am recruiting for sales! Be excited about who you are and what you offer. Even if you’re nervous, be confident and genuine.
Be professional –Show up on time (or early), look professional, have a firm hand shake and maintain good eye contact.
If you knew then what you know now: What advice do you have for college students as they plan for life after college and getting that first job?
Start early! And by that, I mean start thinking about a career when you are deciding what university to attend.
When you visit college campuses, stop by the career center, meet the career center staff and ask questions. Ask them who recruits on their campus. Ask them about the type and level of career assistance they provide to students with your interests. Make sure the college you go to offers courses, activities and career support that match your interests and skills.
While you are in school – get involved and try new things. College is the one time in your life when you can really explore your interests and discover who you are and what you like to do. Don’t miss out on that opportunity. If you find something you like, stick with it! Try to gain experience through leadership and make an impact.
And, lastly, when leadership opportunities are presented, volunteer to take them on.