Future Careers

The Sales Graduate Scheme – What to expect

October 22, 2020

If you are reading this, then there is a good chance you are considering the graduate scheme at Virgin Media, specifically the Sales graduate scheme. If you are anything like I was, and my friends on the scheme, then there is also a good chance you have some questions or are wanting to know a bit more of what to expect.

My name is Naomi Ziade, and I joined the VMB Sales Graduate Scheme in 2019 – I am currently working as an Enterprise Field South Account Executive.  I personally applied to the sales scheme for several reasons but the main three were:

1. I liked talking to people so sales seemed like a good place to do that;
2. I wanted to work in the technology space because it supports all industries and businesses and I like that variety;
3. Because I wanted a scheme that would let me rotate to experience different roles before I settled down into a career.

However, as with any job, how can you really know what to expect? I asked some of my friends on the scheme what went through their head while they were applying for the scheme to see if I could answer their questions. If you are unsure what to expect of the scheme, here were their top 5 questions and my thoughts…


How much of a team environment is there/ is it really competitive?

There is a very strong team environment, everyone genuinely wants everyone to do well and the wider team are always keen to support you when they can, to make sure you smash it. In sales there will always be an element of competition but they don’t make it about your number, they run incentives which are really fun and if you win you get prizes such as an early finish on a Friday. There are regular socials and quizzes too, so you end up making really good friends in the teams, plus when you rotate, you just end up having more friends across the business as you work through different teams!

How much support do you get day-to-day?

The amount of support you get is endless. Everyone knows how daunting telecoms can be so they are more than happy to lend a hand. People across the business are really open to you just asking questions whenever you have them and there truly are no silly questions. On top of everyone just being super helpful anyway, you get assigned a graduate buddy to help you, a mentor on the team, your manager is there to help, you have a graduate head of year and you have even more support with future careers!

How would I do well/What if I am not good at it?/ How much pressure is there to hit target?

Every single one of the graduates in my year and previous years all had these fears and it might sound like a cliché, but honestly there really is not anything to worry about. You won’t be targeted for the first few weeks until you have a grasp on everything and after that the targets are really manageable. Nobody will be expecting anything that is not achievable so don’t worry. The first few calls are the most nerve racking but that goes away very quickly, you will be amazed at how much you pick up.

All I could picture was a call centre, I wanted to know what the day to day would look like?

You will be doing 4 different jobs over 2 years and none of the roles my friends and I have worked in have been even remotely like a call centre. As you will be doing so many different things it is impossible to give a day to day because every day will be very different. The likelihood is however, you will start by reaching out and responding to customers to understand their needs and recommend solutions. You will probably need to engage with other teams and facilitate calls to ensure the customer is getting the best value and support from us. As you develop throughout the scheme, you will take a more consultative approach and support businesses to achieve their goals by selling complex solutions. That however, is just a small portion of what you could do – the best way to find out would be to attend one of the Q&A webchats set up by future careers, or when you apply you get the chance to meet the scheme leads and your potential future Line Managers at at assessment centre!

What if I didn’t understand it e.g. products and processes?

Nobody understands the products and processes when they first start and you definitely aren’t expected to. You will go through training in your first few weeks where they teach you all you need to know. You will end up learning so much on the job as well, and you will come to realise everyone is still learning all the time too so people will be more than happy to help walk you through everything.

My thoughts so far

I have been on the scheme over a year so far and I am in my third rotation. As with any job, there are going to be highs and lows but with this in mind, I can honestly say I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Virgin Media so far, and I have made some really good friends along the way. It still amazes me how much I have learnt in the year I have been here; everyone is always so friendly and happy to help. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career and I am looking forward to where the scheme takes me. For these reasons, I would definitely recommend applying 🙂

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