Meet Mark Pesce, NAPA Project Manager in Phoenix, AZ who started with NAPA as an Executive Management Trainee (EMT). We interviewed Mark about his career, what it is like to work at NAPA, and why NAPA may just be a great career for you! Let’s meet Mark…..
NAPA – What is your current job?
Mark – I am currently a Project Manager for the Phoenix District. I am functioning as the Genuine Parts Company (GPC) liaison for Merle’s Automotive Supply, a 14-store group with locations throughout Southern Arizona.
NAPA – How long have you been at NAPA?
Mark – I started with NAPA in January 2016.
NAPA – What are you responsible for in your current role?
Mark – Primarily, I act as a conduit to share information and opportunities between Merle’s Auto and GPC. I am an on-site resource for the Merle’s team, helping our employees understand and maximize the benefits of working for our company. Beyond this, I will leverage my understanding of each entity in order to develop, initiate, and manage business opportunities. Improved economies of scale will likely result in more competitive pricing, while an expanded product portfolio will solidify our “first-call” status with our customers.
NAPA – What position(s) have you held at NAPA?
Mark – Prior to my promotion to Project Manager, I had the opportunity to go through NAPA’s Executive Management Training (EMT) Program. I graduated the program in April 2017.
NAPA – Why should someone should think about applying to/being a part of the Executive Management Training (EMT) program?
Mark – For me, this was a tremendous opportunity to learn a new business from the ground up. I was exposed to every facet of the business, including operations, wholesale, retail, and office functions. Having actually worked in so many roles, I have the proper perspective to understand how each functional unit impacts the overall business. Beyond this, the EMT Program has tremendous visibility within the organization. All EMT’s have the opportunity to present a Capstone Project to NAPA senior leadership, and we are already seeing our recommendations gain traction within the company.
NAPA – What type of job did you have prior to coming to NAPA and what industry did you come from?
Mark – For the previous nine years, I worked for Bank of America in the Phoenix metro area. Most of what I did for Bank of America revolved around retail sales and management. Overall, I worked in the banking & finance industry for 13 years.
NAPA – What is it like working for NAPA?
Mark – It is rewarding to work for a company like NAPA, with such a respected and well-known brand. There are so many people who have made NAPA their life-long career; many of those I have met have worked here for decades! All of this experience is what brings the NAPA KNOW HOW slogan to reality. Additionally, I am here at a time when there is a wealth of opportunity. If you show initiative, and demonstrate a high level of performance, the career possibilities are quite extensive. Finally, the benefit package is excellent, and adds tremendous value to our “Total Rewards” package.
NAPA – Do you have any advice for job seekers when looking for a job and/or company to work for?
Mark – The best thing I learned when going through that process is that employers do not care as much about what you have done for previous companies; they care what you can do for them. Work to understand what is necessary to be successful in your target role, and then communicate exactly how your skills and experience are transferrable to NAPA. Your resume and cover letter should be an advertisement, not an obituary!
NAPA – What is your #1 piece of advice for someone who is preparing for an interview?
Mark – Research the company and the opportunity, and demonstrate your genuine interest through well thought-out questions. Intelligently and confidently communicate your value. Ask probing questions to understand the rewards and challenges of the position. Most importantly, be honest with yourself about how well the role fits with your desired position.
NAPA – Do you have to love cars and know everything about a car to work at NAPA?
Mark – That is a common misconception. Although I enjoy the challenge of learning more about the automotive industry, I am not a “car guy.” My specific role does not require me to have this type of background, so it is not an obstacle at all.
NAPA – What is the culture/value at NAPA?
Mark – We go to market under the banner of NAPA KNOW HOW. This speaks directly to our philosophy, and what our customers expect from us. The employees who deal directly with our customers are highly knowledgeable, and internally motivated to exceed expectations. All other employees recognize that our role is to support those sales & service efforts, understanding that without happy customers, we all lose.
NAPA – What advice would you give to someone who wants to work at NAPA and what type of people (skill sets, personality, etc.) does NAPA look for to work here?
Mark – Understand that, although it is our most well-known brand name, the opportunities at NAPA are truly limitless. GPC is a Fortune 200 business, operating on a global platform in four distinct industries. We have over 55 NAPA districts within the United States. Across the country, there are more NAPA AutoCare locations than Starbucks locations! If you are looking for opportunities for a long-term career, and are able to consistently produce results, you should strongly consider a career with NAPA.
NAPA – What makes you successful in your position at NAPA?
Mark – I like to think I have a strong work ethic, and I am willing to do whatever is asked of me in order to deliver results for the business. Every day should be treated as an opportunity to learn something new, and to connect with other successful people in the company. I have had the opportunity to learn almost every facet of the business through the EMT program; understanding how all of the various pieces work together has been an advantage. Finally, I try to have some fun at work, otherwise burn-out becomes inevitable.
NAPA – What do you do for fun or your passions outside of NAPA?
Mark – Living in Arizona, we get to spend most of the year in great weather. I like to stay active, especially hiking some of our great trails. I enjoy cooking most nights, and I’m pretty savvy on the grill. I also enjoy reading, usually fantasy or science fiction novels. If I can get to a couple of live concerts a year, even better. Oh, yeah, being a native New Yorker…GO YANKEES!
NAPA – Anything that you would like to add?
Mark – I truly appreciate this opportunity to talk about my experience with NAPA, and Genuine Parts Company. Thank you so much!
Thank YOU Mark. You are definitely one of the best “parts” at NAPA!
*Pictured is Mark presenting (April 2017) the EMT Capstone Project to the NAPA Leadership team at the Genuine Parts Company-NAPA headquarters in Atlanta, GA. Mark was the project leader and part of an amazing EMT team focused on attracting, engaging and retaining Millennials in the workforce. Fantastic work!
Want to be a part of this amazing EMT program? NAPA has current nationwide openings with a program start date of July 2017! Check out this and other great career opportunities by visiting our career site NAPAautojobs.com for more information and to apply now!