An update from our 2014 Associates
Hello all and thanks in advance for reading the latest associate blog. My name’s Sean Eyles and I’m a Sales Associate aligned to the Financial Services & Retail Sector. The other Associates and I have now been here for 6 months and I’m going to talk to you about a major milestone that we’ve just completed. The Sales Associate’s half-year presentations to Neil Muller (UK Managing Director).
This presentation is a rite of passage for individuals on the programme and is always delivered to one of the most senior members of the organisation. We were asked to speak for 15 minutes; covering what we’ve learnt so far, how we have developed and what we plan to do next. The difficulty is that Neil has sat through these same presentations from the last few intakes of Sales Associates; so how do you differentiate from everyone who has gone before you and everyone who will come after? What do you tell the man who’s heard everything?
We all began our task of summarising the last 6 months of our lives using varying techniques and approaches. The thing that really struck me was just how much we’ve all done since starting, and how difficult it was to prioritise what you wanted to highlight in your 15 minutes.
As we got closer to the day, concerns turned to the Q&A session that would follow each presentation. All of the Associates sought guidance from their respective sponsors, mentors, coaches, buddies and best friend’s pets to get an idea of how the questioning and general atmosphere might be. The consensus was that Neil is very observant, and that if he wants to challenge you, he will. I have to admit, and I’m sure my colleagues would agree, this information made us considerably more nervous.
So the big day arrived and we arrived in Birmingham after an evening of final rehearsals and slide re-jigging. Each of us entered the room in turn and presented to Neil Muller (UK Managing Director), Clare Parry-Jones (Business Enablement Director), Sue Harris (Head of Knowledge & Associate Programme) and Laura Lewis (Senior HR Consultant). All of the build up and nerves had boiled down to this. And something amazing happened………… IT WASN’T THAT BAD. In fact, it was actually quite good!
Everyone went through their presentations with varying degrees of confidence; however it was the Q&A session that proved a pleasant surprise. All of the questioning centred around our development, and what we need to be doing next in order to continue improving. The questions were also surrounded by sound advice and guidance. I think this will be my biggest take-away from the session; the sheer level of support and commitment that we are receiving from the business to ensure that we develop and succeed.
I’ll leave you on that note and invite you to read our next blog in August, which will be brought to you by Mitch Smith, Workplace Line of Business Associate.
Thanks very much,