SPRINGFIELD- What’s the benefit of putting yourself in situation that you wouldn’t normally find yourself in? Becoming the President of Barnes and Noble College Bookstores.
Max Roberts, President of Barnes and Noble College Bookstores, spoke Wednesday at the opening convocation in Weaver Chapel. A piece of advice that Roberts left the students with was to seek out challenges and “put yourself in a place no one will expect to find you.” He suggested to students to join clubs that wouldn’t normally join or take a class they wouldn’t normally take.
Roberts explained this piece of advice in more detail during a Q&A session in the boardroom of the Bayley Alumni House later that afternoon. Roberts spoke with eight Management and Economic majors. When a student asked what he meant by seeking out challenges and putting yourself in a different place, he replied with his story on how he ended up at Barnes and Noble.
Roberts said that he was already working for a different company but a friend of his asked him to interview at Barnes and Noble for a Controller position. Roberts really didn’t want to do that kind of work but he knew that Barnes and Noble was a good company to work for. So he went to the interview and talked to the founder of the company, Lenard Riggio. The interview didn’t end very well because he and Riggio ended up arguing on how to run payroll. Roberts said, “It was more of a disagreement of how we thought payroll should be run.” Then some time later he gets call and is asked to come back and have another interview but this time for a different position, Chief Financial Officer. Roberts liked the idea of that and thought that the job could be interesting so he went back for another interview and things went really well. Some more time goes by and he gets another call to come back in for another interview. Roberts goes in to the third interview and sits down with Riggio again. Riggio tells Roberts that there would be a lot of...