In July 2010 I completed my Law Degree, I was due to start my Bar Course to become a Barrister in September, which had always been my ambition from very young……. the next 12 months changed everything and I found a career I was perfect for that I didn’t even know existed.
To earn money over the summer period I got a Sales Admin job at Virgin Media Business, every day I worked with intelligent, career driven Account Managers, supporting them with any administrative requirements. I found the concept of qualification to sale fascinating and I began learning from those around me. Just before I was due to begin my Bar Course in mid-September I was approached about a Desk Based Account Manager position, as I could defer my Course for 12 months I thought it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, even if just to get some funds together before going back to full time education. I took to it like a duck to water and within 6 months I have been promoted to a Field Based Account Manager, the youngest ever at Virgin Media Business.
At the tender age of 22 I was dealing with large corporate organisations and sat with a target of £3m. In my first year I achieved 210% to my number and worked on some large complex deals which was a huge learning curve and confirmed that I was doing exactly what I was meant to. In school the career advice always lends itself to vocational type careers – Doctor, Lawyer, Teacher, the idea of a Sales Person being a true professional is not yet engrained in the UK, but I hope to make an impact on this. I currently speak to as many young people as I can about a career in Sales and the doors it opens. In the USA they have embraced Sales People as true professionals and even reference them to ‘the American dream’.
I was promoted another 3 times over the next year and found myself at the highest Account Manager position available at Virgin Media Business so I looked to find my next challenge. I found that challenge at Vodafone Global Enterprise in September 2014. Once again I arrived as the youngest Account Manager feeling I had a lot to prove. In my first year I finished on 410% due a large multinational deal for a well-known Media organisation, the sales cycle was over 12 months and I actually calculated I did over 14,000 miles going to and from customer meetings!
In my story so far I have mentioned my age, but one thing I want to highlight is being a woman in a very male dominated profession and industry, just 17% of those working in Technology in the UK are female. I am keen to share my story with as many young women as possible to increase this. In 2016 I got to experience first-hand what it was to be a woman in Sales and at Vodafone, as I fell pregnant. My Husband and I were excited to welcome our first child and we talked at length about how my career would be effected by time off. My manager and Vodafone made the experience excellent by giving me all my options as soon as I announced I was expecting and then supporting me in the final months when travel and long meetings were exhausting. Furthermore, on my return 5 months later I was supported in returning 4 days a week for 6 months to ease my transition back in to the working world.
In June 2017 I was approached about a position in Vodafone UK Enterprise, it seemed a perfect fit for me, and another example of how Vodafone can work for a mum who still has great ambition in her career. The position was to manage an account in the North where I live and they were at the beginning of their transformation programme to update their technology, a journey I had taken many customers on previously. In December 2017 I signed a £10m contract with the account to provide them with their connectivity, voice and contact centre. Resulting in another successful year of 250% to target.
Sales was never a career I envisaged for myself, however I could not have found a greater profession, it allows me to utilise my legal skills through presentations and proposals and also develop in areas of technology, sales skills and customer interactions. It has supported me in buying my first house, getting married and having my first child. I look forward to the years ahead when I hope to continue to develop and succeed with the support of Vodafone.