Where debt-laden college graduates once might have resisted commission-based sales positions, the 14% unemployment rate for 20- to 24 -year-olds means fewer grads are turning up their nose at sales jobs.

Cutlery distributor Cutco Corp. has long been a mainstay of college students looking to earn cash by selling knives during the summer. Lately, the company has been receiving more interest from graduates, says Sarah Baker Andrus, director of external relations and academic programs for Vector Marketing Corp., a Cutco subsidiary.

Andrew Wong, a 23-year-old University of Pennsylvania graduate with a math degree, started selling Cutco knives as a summer job and stuck with it after going through the company’s management training.

“My husband said to him, ‘You know Andy, we didn’t send you to an Ivy League school so you could sell knives,’ ” says Ann Wong, Andrew’s mother.

Her son is now a manager but still sells Cutco knives and accessories. He says he now closes sales on four out of five appointments, dazzling clients with shears that cut a penny and knives that slice rope.

Logo from Vector Marketing

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