A True Professional

Josh Cornett `06

Earthpack’s Director of Sales Josh Cornett `06

Josh Cornett `06 worked his way through school to establish himself as a respected sales and marketing professional in Southern California. After graduation, he worked as an account executive and field sales manager at Worldwide Express, and as a sales executive at Serve First Solutions. He went on to serve as sales manager at Tec Color Craft, a custom large format screen and digital printing company based in La Verne, California.

This year, Cornett was named as director of sales for Earthpack, an innovative recycled packaging company based in Irvine, California supplying fashion-forward bags and boxes to eco-conscious retailers across the United States.

In this Alumni Q&A, Cornett shares how he balanced college life as a working student, his love of the SoCal lifestyle and some key nuggets of advice on how to succeed in the fast-paced world of sales and marketing.

What made you decide to go to UC Santa Barbara?

The campus is beautiful -- just the classic California landscape spilling into the ocean.  And the surf!  As a surfer growing up I was drawn to the campus because it’s like a dream set-up -- multiple point breaks and beach breaks all within walking distance.  And the opportunity to live ON the beach was once in the lifetime.

Describe your student experience - what were your favorite aspects of being a UCSB student?

My student experience was great.  The school, the student body, and the locale really encourage you to get outside and enjoy nature and the outdoors.  I met a lot of great friends going camping and surfing in the surrounding area.

I was also involved in the Greek system, where I made a lot of friendships that are still very meaningful to me today.

Did you work during your college years? What was it like balancing work and school?

Yes, I did work during my college years.  I worked in the cafeteria at Manzanita Village in exchange for a meal plan, as a delivery driver for Silvergreens restaurant, and as sales rep for the Daily Nexus newspaper, which provided invaluable experience for my career in sales.

Balancing work and school was a challenge but it prepared me for life after college.  I never really had any down time, so I got used to making the most of my time to get stuff done.  When it’s time to work, you work.  When it’s time to study, you study, and when it’s time to play, you play! 

Now balancing a career, a wife and son, it can be overwhelming -- but for me, it’s what makes life worthwhile.

What drives you?

Providing for my family is what drives me.  To come home and see my wife and my nine-month-old son gives me the energy to push myself further each day.

I’m also inspired by entrepreneurs that take a risk and create something new. 

What advice would you give a student who would like to establish a career in sales in marketing?

My advice is to find other successful people and do what they do.  In sales specifically, you will experience a lot of rejection and failure.  Sales is a great job because you have control over your destiny.  Remember that in most cases it only takes a few yeses from the right people to be successful.  And don’t dwell on failure: learn from it and move forward -- always be moving forward no matter how small the steps.

Also, take responsibility for everything that happens in your life.  There are going to be things that are out of your control, but if you learn to take 100 percent responsibility then you will evolve into becoming a true professional.

Congratulations on your new position at Earthpack. What made you decide to apply for this position?

I first met Dave Bock, owner and founder of Earthpack, a little over a year ago when I made a sales presentation at Earthpack. We got to know each other and I knew Dave was looking to fill a sales leadership position. The more I got to know him and the more I learned about his business, the more it made sense.  So we started seriously talking about making it happen. 

As a sales organization it seemed like a good fit. Earthpack really seemed like the place where I could achieve my goals -- and Dave is the type of person that wants to see his people succeed.

What do you do on your days off?

Days off include time with my family, friends, beach, surfing, jiujitsu, and skateboarding.  Being in an office or on the road all week, we really make an effort to get up and get out.  There is so much to enjoy living in Southern California.  If I wake up in the morning with sore muscles, then I know we had a good day yesterday.

How important is it for alumni to mentor students?

Mentorship is very important. I never had a mentor, which means that I’ve learned most things the hard way, by learning what NOT to do.  In hindsight, having a mentor I think would quicken the learning curve and I probably could have avoided some mistakes. 

I would encourage people to find a mentor they can trust, someone you respect, and someone who enjoys the type of lifestyle that you aspire to.