Case study

Sales executive — Becky Eggs

Although Becky's original degree isn't closely connected to a career in sales, she has found that the challenges of working for an online retailer are providing her with an enjoyable and promising career

What degree did you study and where?

Equine Science at the University of the West of England.

What is your current job title?

I'm a sales executive for a company called Worktop Express.

How relevant is your degree to your job?

My subject of study is not directly relevant to my current job, but the more generalised skills that are required to complete a degree have provided a huge foundation that can be applied to any career.

For my current job, these include organisation, problem solving, computer literacy and working under pressure to complete workloads within a given timeframe.

What do you do day-to-day?

Predominantly, I organise the diary of booking bespoke orders to be fabricated in the factory. In the main this involves adding orders to the system and speaking to customers to determine what they want and how we can meet that need. It also means that I need to work with the stock that we have and resolve stock issues by proposing suitable alternatives to the customer, such as altering their design slightly to use available stock to fulfil their requirements.

When a customer orders something, I have to produce bespoke and fabricated worktop quotations for them. When they order, I add that to the system and ensure that they get what they want.

How has the role developed?

I feel that, as I have adjusted into my current role, I am provided with more opportunities to take responsibility and bring forward ideas to solve problems.

The task of keeping the diary - and the peripheral tasks relating to this job - are becoming solely my responsibility. It has developed in a way that my colleagues will come to me directly for solutions relating to my role.

My ambitions are to develop further responsibility and an increased input into ideas and problem solving throughout my career. I hope to achieve this by working up to a supervisory or managerial role within the organisation.

What do you enjoy about the job?

What I most like about my job is being able to use my initiative to solve problems, as well as feeling a sense of responsibility for the customer. I also enjoy producing quotes, as I have a strong mathematical mind and this requires lots of thought into different sizes and cuts that need to be made and the costs involved.

What are the challenges?

The most challenging part of my job is trying to fit everything in the day. While it is challenging to get everything done, I enjoy keeping busy.

As for working in the sector, there are lots of departments involved in an e-commerce business that differ to regular retail. While the business itself offers a specialised product, it provides an opportunity to learn different skillsets, plus expand knowledge and understanding of how different organisations operate. The organisation itself is expanding rapidly within the sector, providing prospects to progress my career.

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

Don't expect to find your perfect job straight away, and don't let your lack of experience or relevance of your degree subject dictate what you apply for. Just having a degree displays a level of education and capability that could suit a whole number of jobs. Finally, consider career paths that differ from your degree subject. You may find that you enjoy doing something you had never thought about.

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