Haley Sill, international sales specialist for Koch Agronomic Services (KAS), is one such individual that combines her passion for people with her competitive nature to provide exceptional service to KAS’s international consumer base.
Sill is responsible for overseeing the sales process from the time a product is ordered to delivery to the customer, oftentimes thousands of miles away.
“I handle all our orders that we get for our international business. From the point of getting the order, to processing the paperwork, invoicing and getting their product on a vessel to be shipped overseas—sometimes to several different countries.”
With a role overseeing orders on a global scale, it takes a level of determination and adaptability to resolve issues that may arise.
“I am very competitive. I play a lot of sports and I think that has contributed to my work performance because I have a 'don’t give up, don’t quit attitude',” Sill said. “When things get tough, I push through because I want to win. At work, that win may be as small as just getting a container on a ship.”
From Accountant to Customer Service
Although Sill’s natural ability to resolve issues allow her to excel in customer service, she hadn’t always recognized that to be a strength of hers. In fact, she graduated from Kansas State University in 2013 with a master's degree in accounting.
Sill contributes the switch to customer service to Koch’s philosophy of finding where each employee is most fulfilled.
“The interesting thing about Koch is the fact they don’t just look at the person on paper and what their background looks like—like my accounting degree. It may start out that way but as you get into your role, they do a great job at seeing what their employees are good at and what they enjoy.”
Although Sill never considered herself as someone who possesses a strength in customer service, she said she now realizes she has always had some sort of hand in it from working as a waitress to a cashier at a health facility during college.
Once she got into her new role as a customer service specialist, Sill said she found her passion and what makes her work meaningful.
Small Town to Global Role
While Sill thrives on social interactions and relationships, she admits they weren’t always easy.
“I grew up in a very rural town where the population was about 300 people, so going into a corporate business that employs thousands was scary. It was Koch’s intern program that really helped me feel comfortable.”
Sill said her time as a Koch intern helped her with the transition by bridging the gap from college student to young professional.
“Obviously, we did a lot of trainings and hands-on projects, but we also did a lot of activities as a group to where it didn’t feel so serious all the time. I can put on business clothes and come in and be a professional, but I feel I thrive when I’m having fun with it and the program did just that.”
Ten years later and Sill remains involved in the intern program by assisting with one of the KAS interns this summer.
What She Does for Fun
Outside of managing customer relations and orders, Sill’s priorities look very similar outside of work as it does during business hours.
“One thing about me—I love puzzles. Over the last year I’ve probably put together six or seven thousand-piece jigsaw puzzles. I love piecing things together and I think that’s part of the fun with logistics and customer service too—figuring things out and building on them in way.”
When asked what she does once a puzzle is complete, Sill says she plans to glue them together and hang them in her garage.
“Most of the puzzles I’ve done recently are Harley-Davidson. I have a big plan for my garage to make it like my own she-cave and put up all the puzzles I’ve done in frames on the wall.”
Sill said the Harley-Davidson theme stems from a long-standing family tradition.
“I grew up in a Harley family. My mom and dad both rode them. Even looking back at old photos from when I was a kid, I was almost always in a Harley t-shirt. It was a way of life for us and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate just how unique that is to my family.”
To this day, Sill continues the family tradition and combines it with her enjoyment of socializing through a local all-female motorcycle group. She said going on the group rides allows her to meet new people while being able to disconnect.
No matter if it is inside or outside of the office, anyone who meets Sill will find themselves feeling connected and prioritized—typically having fun in the process.