Future Careers

Reflections on the Virgin Media Sales Graduate Scheme

November 30, 2020

An insight from VMB Sales Graduate Randeep Nag

For a Graduate, Virgin Media and Virgin Media Business offer multiple paths into the business, ranging from more technical functions such as Technology & Innovation to core business functions such as Finance. Sales is one of such business functions, and yet there are some misconceptions about what makes a good salesperson that might have left you on the fence about considering it as a career for you.

In my experience, working in Sales allows you to develop a broad range of skills, gain business acumen and commercial awareness, and become an effective driver in decision making, and I encourage those who are perhaps unsure about what path to take within the telecommunications sector to consider starting your career in Sales.

When it comes down to it, we all practice sales skills whether we are aware of it or not. Whether that’s persuading someone of your line of argument in an essay as you would have done at university, convincing colleagues to carry out actions on your behalf, or encouraging people to attend an event, you are selling. One of the biggest surprises about starting my career in Sales is that having the “gift of the gab” and being a naturally extroverted person does not necessarily equate to sales success and exceeding targets. A combination of strong organisational skills, market awareness and interfacing effectively with other departments are what can be seen in the very best salespeople here at Virgin Media, and the Sales graduate scheme gives you the platform to develop those skills with support and training along the way.

I read Modern Languages at the University of Cambridge, a non-vocational course that gave me lots of options when it came to starting my career. There were obvious reasons for wanting to apply for the scheme such as having an internationally renowned brand on my CV, working in technology in an ever more digitally-focused job market and, of course, the high salary and commission opportunity certainly didn’t hurt! However, one of the best things about the Sales graduate scheme is that through the rotational structure of the scheme, I have been able to experience a variety of roles ranging from working with Public Sector customers to my current rotation in Wholesale Field Sales where I support partners including the likes of TalkTalk, Gamma and Verizon. With each rotation, my confidence and knowledge has increased exponentially, working alongside industry-leading salespeople and, quite frankly, people who make coming to work (albeit virtually these days!) a true pleasure.

No doubt some people will be worried about the pressure that comes with needing to hit targets, as well as the anxiety of starting a Sales role remotely. I had similar worries when I joined, but rest assured that the support available and the company culture have put those fears to rest and I have been successful in hitting targets thanks to the team environment. The learning curve is steep, but being part of a team where you can put in a meeting with people with whom you’ve never previously engaged and draw upon their experience and insight has strangely made working from home a blessing in disguise.

Also remember this is a graduate scheme! Every rotation will have its challenges but it is incredible to think that a year into my career, I am already in a Field-based role working alongside stakeholders with targets in the millions! You definitely do not need to have a comprehensive understanding of telecoms before joining (but a passion for it is beneficial!) and honestly, the best way to learn is to put your best foot forward and get stuck in.

In a little over a year, I have made lifelong friends and developed a ton of skills and confidence working with people who make Virgin Media a genuinely fun place to work.

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