In September last year I started my level 3 Business Administration NVQ. I had dropped out of a generally unsuccessful university experience and had no idea whatsoever what I wanted to do from that point. Fortunately, TBA PS were willing to take a risk. Most of the products that we sold were very new to me and so I was pushed in at the deep end by Mark Lineker and was told to help with the development of products whilst he consistently used the phrase "you can't sell what you don't know". He wasn't necessarily wrong. My first few phone calls were less than brilliant to say the least, but they allowed my product knowledge to grow (I had to find the silver lining or I don't think I would have lasted). When paired with the fierce tutelage of Ann Lister I began to gain confidence, which in turn led to further enquiries and even some sales.
What I found most surprising about this apprenticeship was the level of responsibility I was given. Within the first 3 months I was put at the head of two projects featuring products I knew nothing about. As my father's catchphrase ,"you can't sell what you don't know", began to ring around my head it became clear that intensive research was needed. Phone calls were put on the back burner as I tried to wrap my head around the world of thermal and friction materials. Hours upon hours spent watching videos and researching applications to figure out these products eventually led to a rather nerve racking experience, a marketing presentation. Giving a presentation on a subject you know about to an audience with the same level of knowledge is hard enough, never mind only having a months learning on the subject and then delivering it to people who had more years experience than I had years on this earth. Fortunately, I have the Lineker genes and even in times of uncertainty I can look fairly certain. The presentation received the highest praise from the crowd, "that wasn't actually too bad". Tears of joy nearly streamed down my face.
Reflecting on my time here at TBA PS it is obvious to those who know me how much I have grown, both in terms of knowledge and also in terms of my personality. I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to take on this role as it has allowed me to become a much more confident individual who has rediscovered his drive and determination, losing my apathy in the process. This experience reminds me of the time I was taken to my first swimming lesson, a stubborn 5 year old refusing to get into the water only to be thrown into the deep end by my very own mother, but I learned quickly and actually became quite good, enjoying my experience for the time I was there. Unfortunately I think that since that experience I have been unable to learn any other way but within this business it is exactly the type of learning everyone needs to be able to do. As a very small business individuals are expected to do tasks they have never done before to a high standard and you have to quickly adapt or you won't last long. Thankfully, thanks to some tough love from my mother I have been nothing but prepared for this.
Technical Sales Officer