In his 28 years at Dr Pepper Snapple, David McMichael has worked in nine different positions from supermarket merchandiser to his current role on national accounts and warehouse direct business.
His career path story shows what hard work and dedication can accomplish, and David also has advice for others looking to follow in his path.
Q: How many different roles have you served in during your time with DPS and what were they?
I have held over nine different positions since joining the company. I began my career as a supermarket merchandiser in Irving, Texas, and have been fortunate enough to touch almost every aspect of the bottling operations, including multiple leadership roles. I am at my best when I am challenged out of my comfort zone because that is when you grow the most. I have always looked for new challenges and am lucky that opportunities have come my way to help me grow and develop. Today I work beside an amazing team of driven and talented individuals on the national accounts and the warehouse direct business team.
Q: What do you love most about working for DPS?
My answer to this question has changed over time. I love working in a challenging industry, selling amazing brands and being a part of a winning organization. I love that I was able to start at the bottom and work my way up. This helped teach me the value of leadership and growing others.
Q: What are some of your favorite memories from your time working here?
One that truly stands out to me is being in the organization when we decided to go public. This was a very difficult and challenging time within the financial markets, and I was proud to be a part of it and see the company come together and thrive in spite of the financial climate.
Q: Who have been some key mentors or leaders that have helped shape you over the years?
I have been fortunate to have many mentors during my time at DPS who have all had a hand in shaping me into the leader I am. Those relationships helped me build the skills, ambition, humility and confidence I possess today. I’m very grateful to each of them for taking the time to mentor me with constructive feedback and ongoing support. It also serves as a reminder for me to do the same for others.
Q: With all of your experience in diverse roles, what are a few key takeaways or important lessons you have learned in your time here?
Starting my career as an entry-level merchandiser gave me the opportunity to learn the business from the ground up. That work has kept me grounded and taught me that you have to give 100 percent in every role and take on new challenges because growth comes from new opportunities. Also, I remind myself to not let my experience become a liability; change in the beverage business is rapid, and you have to stay open to new ideas, technology, strategies and innovation.
Q: Given the way you have advanced in the company over the years, do you have any advice for someone who may be interested in moving up in the company or changing roles? What would you recommend to people on how to advance themselves?
Be great at your job and do it the right way. We are here to drive results, but the way you get things done is equally important. Being a strong, collaborative partner is critical, because those relationships will help you progress the business and your career. Build strong relationships, ask for feedback, listen to the feedback, and take ownership of how to progress against your development areas. Make sure your manager understands your short and long term desires. It is up to you to drive your career discussions, but be open to getting outside of your comfort zone and taking on new opportunities presented by your leadership.
Look for continuous improvement in everything you do. Complacency is not an option.