Soccer Coach To Account Executive: How Aaron Curtis Is Growing On Gartner’s Sales Team


I am an Account Executive (AE) on Gartner’s Event Sponsorship Sales Team. I’m originally from Dublin, Ireland, and I have been living in the United States for the past five years permanently. My passion growing up was playing football (soccer in the U.S.!) as well as Gaelic football — Ireland’s national sport. While completing my bachelor’s degree in business management, I acquired my UEFA B coaching license — and lucky I did because it was my coaching license, not my degree, that gave me the opportunity to work abroad as a youth soccer coach.

The transition from coaching youth soccer to interviewing for corporate positions was difficult. I was competing with college graduates, who had corporate internship experience, which my resume lacked. I needed a company to take a chance on me. My aunt encouraged me to pursue sales positions. I had a degree in business management, I was competitive by nature, I wasn’t afraid to work hard, and I enjoyed collaborating and working on a team — she thought I had the tools to be successful in sales so this is where I focused my job search.

My first corporate role in the U.S. was Recruiter/Account Manager for an IT services firm. The firm’s approach encouraged entrepreneurial behavior, and high-performing employees would be rewarded through the “promote from within” policy. Working in the tech industry as an Account Manager for a service provider, I was acutely aware of Gartner. My firm leveraged Gartner’s research, and we used it in our own sales talk tracks. A defining moment for me, shortly into my career, was when my mentor decided that he too would leave for Gartner.

I continued with the organization in my role, while I was learning about the supportive and collaborative work environment at Gartner, and the different lines of business from Consulting to Research to Events. I was impressed by the focus on sales training and the investment in the various Centers of Excellence before an AE picks up the phone to make a sales call. I was also impressed by the leadership teams that were in place to ensure that AEs had the necessary tools to excel in their role.

I wasn’t actively looking. I received a LinkedIn message from a recruiter at Gartner — I was intrigued by Gartner to say the least, from what I had heard from friends and former colleagues who had made the jump. One phone call wouldn’t hurt.… Well, one phone call and three on-site interviews later, I had the job. The interview process at Gartner is thorough!!

While writing this blog, I am 16 weeks into my new role as an Account Executive on the Event Sponsorship Sales Team, more specifically focusing on our North American Security and Risk Portfolio. My team consists of eight AEs, split between Dallas and Stamford. Together under our director, we collaborate with security solution providers across North America. My team focuses on engaging with executive-level sales, product and marketing professionals to understand what their mission-critical priorities are.

I take a huge amount of pride working for the global leader in Research & Advisory Services and in the fact that my team plays a vital role in both our clients’ and Gartner’s overall success.

My new role gives me the opportunity to travel and see new places, with regular client meetings across North America — so far I’ve traveled more than 20,000 miles in only a few months. Every day I engage with smart people at top tech companies and consistently improve my business and sales acumen. Gartner encourages collaboration across the organization — One Gartner — and the leadership and guidance from my director and VPs are second to none. I have the ability to provide for my family while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I am working on a team where I feel challenged each day as I strive to achieve both personal and professional goals. It is definitely a great time to be at Gartner.

Are you interested in joining our growing sales team? Search for an available opportunity here.

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