Pete Gareri

Major: English
Year of Graduation: 1962

Gareri had to put his career plans on hold momentarily and served two years in the U.S. Armed Forces. His first job after the military was a sales position which he enjoyed so much, he spent the next 30 years of his life working in various sales-related positions all around the country.

Current Job: Retired, formerly in Sales Management

Could you give us an overview of where your career path took you after graduation from CSB/SJU?
I knew I wanted to work in sales somewhere and after interviewing with several companies, I accepted a job with Owens-Illinois, Inc., a Fortune 500 company, as a sales/management trainee in their Forest Products Division. I started at their corrugated box plant in Shakopee, MN and spent the several years in various US locations until I moved into sales management in 1980. I worked as a sales manager for the next 20+ years, retiring in 2002. Now, EVERYDAY IS SATURDAY!!

What advice would you give to students who are looking for their first job or internship after college?
I would suggest students pursuing their first post-graduation job to not put as much emphasis on compensation. Most companies will offer new hires a competitive compensation package. Do some research and find a stable company with an ethical business reputation and one where you can have fun working. Do a good job and promotions and financial rewards will be there for you. In today's business world, there aren't many people that will remain with the same company with whom they started. Loyalties aren't what they used to be with either company or employee. Gain experience with that first job and keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities with other companies. Don't forget to establish a network and keep it active.

What can students do in their four years at CSB/SJU to better prepare them for the working world?
While at CSB/SJU, students can help themselves by getting involved with the CSB/SJU network.  Talk to the alumni and quiz them about any question that you feel you'd like addressed.  Collegeville has long-reaching tentacles and I'm sure there are many, many alumni out there that would be willing to help.  Take advantage of the many different speakers that come to campus.  For example, I served on a panel a couple years ago that made us available to a group of students interested in a career in sales.  Take advantage of these kinds of things.

Have you ever utilized the Johnnie/Bennie network throughout your career, if so how?
Yes, I have been active throughout my career with the Johnnie/Bennie network.  I personally hired three Johnnies and assisted several others with their job searches.  I'm happy to chat with any student interested in a career in sales; I spent almost 40 years in the sales game and loved them all!  As far as I'm concerned, sales are where it happens; nothing happens until something is SOLD!

How do you find a balance between your work and personal life?
Finding a balance between work and one's personal life is such an individual thing.  It may sound trite to say, but it usually pretty well takes care of itself.  However, keep in mind the sequence professed by Fr. Arnold Weber, OSB when he was pastor of my parish here in the Medina area:  God, family, & work.