An update from our 2016 associates
Thank you Greg for kicking off the blog last month. Now it’s my turn to tell you about my first few months in Computacenter. I remember when applying to the programme how much I wanted to know exactly what the job of a Sales Associate entailed. Now I know there is no way of easily describing it, given that it changes every month! This edition of the blog will therefore focus on the first two rotations I’ve been through: Inside Sales and Bid Management, to hopefully help any prospective applicants get a better picture of what we do. Before I dive in, I would like to tell you a little bit more about myself. My name is Jessica and I come from France. I studied Maths and Physics at Durham University, and I graduated from an Erasmus Mundus masters in Biology in August last year, so this is my first step into the real world of work. For me, the Associate Programme is an incredible experience to get visibility throughout the business and develop an invaluable professional network. When reflecting on my first three months in Computacenter, I have already come a long way, from being a student to a professional, but I also feel like there is so much left for me to learn. Over the three months so far, the highlight of my time at Computacenter is still without doubt the Kick Off in Barcelona, where I got a first taste of Computacenter’s Winning Together values.
As Greg said last month, the race is on for a FMES jacket!
After spending a month in the TMT & Retail team, getting to know the various customers and understanding the different roles within a sector, I set off for my rotation in Inside Sales. The TMT and Retail Customer Executives are mainly based in Reading, the land of free toast, where I spent most of my rotation.
I sat with many CEs, learning to place orders and quotes, raise material requests and ask for Proof of Delivery. Not only did I get to grips with the administrative tasks, and hopefully help out more than hindered with all my OneTouch related questions, but I also realised how much more the Customer Execs are responsible for. They are generally the first point of contact with the customer for queries, and they are the people who manage on a daily basis what goes through the account. They know about products, distribution, delivery processes and much more. The aim for this rotation was to allow us, the new Sales Associates, to understand the internal process which underpins every sale Computacenter makes. It was also a great opportunity to build a relationship with Inside Sales teams, for us to be able to work with them best in the future.
Following this rotation, I came back to Hatfield to spend a month in Bid Management. I was told this was an intense rotation and I was not disappointed. From day one, before even having our rotation induction, I was asked to run a Kick Off meeting for a bid. After the initial “Oh my god I don’t know what I’m doing!” panic moment, I got started. The role of a Bid Manager is, amongst others, to make sure all elements of a bid are written (management summaries, responses to questions etc) and put together on time. This requires a lot of chasing people up, along with the management of many versions of an excel spreadsheet. Overall, I was given two live bids to manage, and two other bids to help out on, therefore time management and organisational skills are a must for getting through this rotation.
Since starting at Computacenter, I already feel that I’m starting to build a better understanding of the company and the IT industry, through vendor accreditations and the Knowledge Programme. One of the most exciting aspects of the Associate Programme is the exposure we get to the rest of the company. Not only will we work in most areas of the business, but we also have the opportunity to meet with the senior management team. So far having met Amir Klaus and Mike Rodwell, I’ve learnt to never accept a challenge at noughts and crosses when the person opposite knows more than you do, and that incredibly, the iPad has only been around 6 years, making the next 6 years in the IT industry very exciting indeed…
Thanks for reading and next month we’ll hear from Hollie Cousins.