Michael Baldwin

Business Development Analyst

Host, Business Development Analyst, Norfolk, VA

When Host’s recruiting team found Business Development Analyst Michael Baldwin, he was on his eighth month of traveling the world. “It’s such a millennial thing to say,” he laughs, “But I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in my work. So I quit, and I went on an adventure.” Previously, Michael worked for two years as an investment consultant for a large bank in Chicago, IL, then moved home to Michigan, where he worked as a strategic planning and business development analyst at a glass company.

Michael was drawn to Host because he knew it would be a fascinating learning experience. “It’s the ideal mix of learning at an incredibly rapid pace combined with enormous opportunity, both of which aren’t available at other, more traditional companies,” he explains. He interviewed on September 22nd, accepted on the 29th, and started work in Norfolk on October 2nd. (Yes, he moved from Michigan to Norfolk in that three-day period.) “I had never even heard of Norfolk before,” he admits.

Michael is a graduate of Michigan State, where he double majored in economics and psychology and minored in math. “My economics classes have helped me understand markets, while my psychology classes have made it easier for me to understand others.”

To do his job, he says a person needs to have intellectual curiosity, flexibility, the ability to learn on the fly and figure things out, and the willingness to admit when they don’t know the answer. “It’s also important to understand that even though you may only see one piece of the picture, there’s a grand plan in the works,” he says. “You just have to have faith that what you’re doing is important and that it plays an integral role in future success for the company.”

“I haven’t even been here a year, and I’ve done at least one project for each of the ten highest ranking people at the company,” he says. “That’s rewarding.” Some of his projects have included redeveloping the sales process, developing and redefining models, working on asset-based projects, handling contracts, and even creating special warehouse modeling. “My minor in math helped a lot with that last one,” he laughs. (He built a calculator using trigonometric equations to compute how much grain can fit in a warehouse.)

He says his favorite thing about Host is that anyone is able to create their own career, given their drive and willingness to take on change. “It’s special to have so much direct interaction with the top executives,” he says. “I’ve taken dramatic strides in understanding the industry since I started, but I like knowing that I’ve merely scratched the surface.”

“I’m honestly ecstatic about coming to the office every day,” he says. “I love that I come in, knowing my to-do list won’t be touched during business hours as new things are added throughout the day. It’s a continually evolving position, and expectations increase with my performance and output. I’m always preparing myself for knowing and doing more.”