Case study

Account manager — Hugh Bunce

Hugh studied for a degree in international relations and now works in business to business sales. He helps organisations find the right furniture for their workplaces

How did you get your current job?

I went to a specialist recruitment agency that put me forward for several different roles and I had lots of interviews.

I particularly liked the role with Calibre Furniture and I had experience in the industry, so I was really interested when they offered me a job.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

A lot of international relations is about solution-focused problem solving. Whether that's in international negotiations or discussing various options with clients, it has a similar skillset.

A lot of my analytical writing skills are really important too.

What does a typical working day look like?

I'm involved in the wholesale of executive furniture and I manage a client projects from start to finish.

During a day I take new enquiries and then assess what that company needs and how we can help them. I'll often visit their site so that I can get more of an idea of what they need or I might take a client to a showroom to give them ideas of possible solutions.

From there I provide plans by working with manufacturers and design team. I then give quotations and negotiate the final figure with a client and follow it all through to delivery and installation.

What are your career ambitions?

As my career has progressed I've developing my product knowledge and my understanding of the market. Overall, I'd like to build up a client database because as your clients build up it allows you to build on relationships.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy working with clients to create something from scratch. Everyone has their own style and their own taste and it's great to be able to deliver something that they really feel good about.

What are the challenges?

Managing a large workload is always difficult.

Best things about working the sales sector?

The B2B sales sector obviously has huge potential for earning. I have a salary but I also receive commission on things that I sell, as well as a bonus based on my performance.

If you're target focused you can really achieve and progress.

Any advice for others who would like to get into this career?

If you go into a role with an attitude which shows that you're willing to learn then this is definitely a sector where you can achieve.

If you can put energy into your work and you enjoy meeting people and building relationships then it's a really friendly industry to work in and you can have a lot of fun.