When I agreed to write this Blog I was taken straight back to when I was considering applying to the Virgin Media Business Sales scheme. At the time, I was in my 3rd year at the University of Liverpool studying Business Management, I’d got 5 years of retail experience under my belt and whenever asked about my plan after Uni I’d respond with the typical “not sure yet”. One thing was for certain, I enjoyed spending time with people. I classed myself as a ‘people person’ (cringe!) as I found it fairly easy to strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone, and found myself most productive when surrounded by others.
I loved my weekend retail job working on a Small Electrical department selling toasters, kettles, hoovers and irons – glamourous, I know. I didn’t love this job for the products; it was for the people and the ability to help customers overcome problems. And that’s what led me to the VMB Sales Grad Scheme!
Fast-forward one year later – I am proud to work for a company that encourages you to think differently, provides a fast-paced working environment and gives me the career foundations I need to get to where I want to be. I have learned so much over the past year. Don’t get me wrong, the jargon and acronyms can be confusing at the best of times – DIA, IPVPN, HCS to name a few! Not to worry, there is plenty of support within VMB to help you and if in doubt, ask! Really, there are no stupid questions and you’ll quickly learn that everyone around you is happy to help. For the entirety of my first placement I relied on my teammates to teach me about products and processes, and not once was I met with an “I’m too busy.” Throughout the Grad Scheme you’re supplied with countless learning and development opportunities, all of which have been directly applicable to my day-to-day role.
I’m currently in my 3rd placement, in Large Enterprise shadowing Field Account Managers. This gives me the ability to get involved in customer meetings, work on tender responses and learn about the different styles of working and selling of established Account Managers within VMB. It’s fair to say that exposure to such activities wouldn’t have happened so early on in my career, had it not been for the Graduate Scheme.
Right from the start of the scheme you’re given a heap of responsibility. I had officially worked for VMB less than a month and I had already been given my own work laptop and mobile! I was then given around 50 accounts and encouraged to make contact with them right away. I’d had very little experience with emailing and calling customers, I was absolutely terrified. I remember calling a customer for the first time and being petrified that they were going to want to have a technical conversation – this wasn’t the case. On some occasions, customers will want to have a technical discussion. However, there is plenty of technical resource within VMB to support you with these conversations, so please don’t fret like I did!
All in all, if you want to be given some amazing opportunities to develop yourself individually and as a salesperson, work in a fun and exciting environment and get to experience our Sales Conference each year… then VMB is the place for you!