From Russian Diplomats to Holidays in Thailand, A Glimpse into My Dad’s Career


Anastasia Drolette, Reporter

I’ve studied my dad’s work ethic and ability to achieve anything his heart leads him toward throughout my childhood. Although I had the general outlook of his job, I never truly understood what his career encompassed. Eventually, my curiosity led me to ask, “Dad, what exactly do you do?” What I didn’t expect was his answer. I discovered he had lived an entirely different life from my perspective of him. 

My dad, John Drolette, worked for 10 years for the same company his dad worked for, RJR Nabisco.

I really look up to my dad, and that’s why I was so honored to follow in his footsteps out of high school. I thought to myself, that’s a pretty good company; look how well they treated my dad all these years.

RJR Nabisco is a company that manufactures snack and food products. They also specialize in tobacco products. Some of their produced items are snacks you have most likely eaten, such as Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers. The company also manufactures Camel and Winston cigarettes.

When my dad started working here, he had just graduated high school. For a typical person, this opportunity would not generally be available. My grandfather was the one who encouraged the company to give him a chance. Regularly, a young adult would undoubtedly need proper business schooling. 

“If you were looking to become a representative like I was, you would definitely need a college degree. They look for people with a business degree or any degree in the departments in the business like finance. They want a friendly personality and someone with excellent communication skills. Having computer skills along with knowing how to manage technology is key,” expresses Drolette.

There are countless job opportunities ranging from assistants to being a marketer in such a substantial-sized company.

Throughout the business, there are high and low levels of jobs in sales representatives, sales management, marketing, finance, human resources, and even factory work. 

“My job was to market and sell RJR Nabisco products in Russia and the 13 countries surrounding Russia, the former Soviet Union,” he further explains.

This job was not only captivating, but it offers an abundance of possibilities. My dad, for example, was able to travel the world with his family. 

“I was able to visit all of the famous cities in Russia, such as St. Petersburg and Moscow. I took many personal trips to Thailand, Indonesia, and China, where I walked the Great Wall, said Drolette.

Those are memorable experiences that can last a lifetime. Often because of the excellent pay rate, my dad could afford beautiful homes and exciting possessions such as his boat. 

My dad would be able to meet with highly respected individuals in Russia, such as ministers who reported directly to the President.

“I can’t give the names of the people I worked with because of the intensity of the Russian forces. It was always a lot of pressure,” emphasizes Drolette.

The job allowed my dad to take care of himself while providing for his family. 

“It set me up for life. The company would pay for my trips back to America, so I was able to see my family. I had an executive benefit, which meant my insurance and retirement fund were fully covered,” states Drolette. 

When asked what advice he would give to anyone looking to go into this field, he answered, 

“My advice would be to start at the very bottom and become a salesman. Then work their way to take every position possible in your department. As you are promoted to higher positions, you will be more respected. Then when you are at higher levels, you will be able to connect with your associates more because you’ve been in their shoes,” urges Drolette.

Although RJR Nabisco sold their company, there are numerous contrary companies with the same job descriptions. The business field allows a stable and wealthy life. Still, it can provide anyone who applies themselves the opportunity for abundant success.