Course studied: BA (Hons) Business and Management
Graduating year: 2014
Job: Sales Advisor-Barratt Homes
Jack was accepted onto the Barratt Homes Accelerated Sales graduate scheme. Having completed the one-year programme, he is now a Sales Advisor with his own division at Barratt Homes.
I have completed the two-year Barratt Developments Accelerated Sales Graduate Scheme, and am now a Sales Advisor looking after my own site in Banbury in Oxfordshire.
The graduate scheme was structured in three-month rotations, starting with training specifically in Sales. After the first three months, I was tasked to deliver a two-hour presentation about what I had learned and my ideas for improvements. I proposed about how the training could be delivered more intensively and efficiently, which Barratt have consequently implemented in their trainee programme. I then moved onto other areas of the company. I spent time with construction, planning, marketing, part exchange and management. I also went for external training with Solicitors and Mortgage Advisors which we recommend to customers, so understanding how they work was really important.
The graduate scheme also involved attending training throughout the year, in areas such as IT and customer service. Barratt hired 20 graduates across the country that year, so these training sessions were a great opportunity to meet and network with other graduates on the scheme and learn about how other divisions across the country worked.
Now that I have completed the graduate scheme and am looking after my own site, new starters are often referred to me if they have any questions or need training, which is great. I’m really happy in my role. In my next career step, I aim to become a Senior Sales Advisor. After that, I’m quite keen to become a Sales Manager.
"You don’t just feel like a student number. I felt supported and that my tutors took an interest in my studies and my future."
''My advice for current students is ...''
To use the Careers Service more! It is ultimately up to students to be proactive and use the service. They have some great advice, but also networks and contacts which can support your job search.
In terms of interviews, I would say preparation is key! Once the interview is over, you can’t change anything, so make sure you put the work in beforehand and think outside the box! Don’t just read the company’s website and strategy statement. Search through their twitter feed and read up on current affairs around the business. I didn’t have any construction experience, so I had to put more effort into analysing my experience and applying it to construction.
I also used a website called JobCrowd which gave me a real insight into the graduate scheme at Barratt, so I picked up quite a few tips on that.
Another piece of advice for freshers is to get work experience at the university. I worked as a Student Ambassador for the Widening Participation department. It was great pay but also looked great on my CV.
Overall, my advice would be to get advice, be proactive and listen to the people around you. The ones that are proactive always do well, as they put effort into developing themselves and use their support network. Be efficient with your time: it is not necessarily about working harder, but working smarter.
''The best thing about the course I studied was ...''
The one-to-one relationship with tutors. You don’t just feel like a student number. I felt supported and my tutors took an interest in my studies and my future.
My tutor Polly Derbyshire put me in touch with experts in sales to mentor me. I don’t think I would have received the same level of support at a different university.
The Business and Management course at Bath Spa was a very detailed programme and included lots of guest speakers, which was really good.
''I recommend Bath Spa because ...''
You get in depth support, not only with your studies, but also with your career prospects and future.