Direct communication with potential/existing clients and the management of the complete sales cycle, including onsite visits when required.
1. To what extent did you enjoy your work placement or internship?
There were several aspects of my placement which I enjoyed such as seeing the whole sales cycle and seeing how an SME operates. I was able to see each department and how each department collaborated with others to achieve the common goal of developing, servicing, marketing and selling our CRM system.
2. To what extent did you feel valued by your colleagues?
The staff all made me welcome as soon as I came to ProspectSoft. All the staff are on hand to give you a helping hand whenever you need it and the work that you do to support more senior staff was always appreciated well and you were often given further guidance so that if something wasn’t perfect, you’d be able to make sure it would be in the future.
3. To what extent were you given support and guidance by management/your supervisor(s)?
If I had any questions, big or small, I could ask them and they would be answered so I could perform my job to the best of my ability. I had two reviews throughout the year to go over performance and goals. I would say the support was adequate enough for the placement.
4. How busy were you on a daily basis?
With any role, any given day can fluctuate in how busy you are. When there were a lot of inbound sales opportunities I could be rushed off my feet making sure everyone one of them was properly seen too. Again, this workload could sometimes be matched when the outbound sales leads started coming in and I was equally busy. Sometimes there were lulls in the workload but there was always something to be doing.
5. How much responsibility were you given during your placement?
I worked on a document with the Managing Director and Sales Director which related to our future in the sales department and information about our approach to sales for new starters. I was also in charge of two sales which both took over a month from start to finish, as well as providing some after sales care to them.
6. To what extent did/will the skills you developed, and training you received, assist you in your degree studies and beyond?
I’m certain that the skills I’ve learnt about business, the full sales cycle and more will become invaluable in my return to University and my later career. I’ve learnt a lot about how a business operates at every level and how each department links together to work efficiently and for a common goal.
7. What was the general atmosphere in your office?
There was a friendly, chatty vibe in the office and everyone makes you feel welcome. Lot's of people outside the office are friends with each other, so throughout the office it is relaxed but with everyone workign toward a common goal. Managers and other senior memebers of staff are available to help you with any problem you might have.
8. How well organised was the overall work placement or internship set up?
My manager left half-way through the year and wasn’t replaced so I felt like it could have been better organised by giving me more things to do related to my degree, but the placement was adequately set up and organised.
9. In terms of personal training and development, to what extent did the company or firm invest in you?
I received training related to CRM and things related to our company. Some of my sales training was very personalised and helped me understand our market a bit better such as training on why our target companies need our CRM, what it does for their business and why it benefits them.
10. What were the perks on your work placement?
Sports and Social Club
11. How appealing are future employment prospects within the organisation?
ProspectSoft hire lots of returning placements and there are various roles all over the office that are filled with placements that have returned. For me personally it’s not something I would want to go into in the future, but I can see why someone who was interested in software development would come back and work on an amzing product that's only getting better.
12. Was there a good social scene amongst any fellow placement students/colleagues?
I lived with a fellow placement student so we had a good time but a lot of the students lived at home so weren’t that close to us. There would be an opportunity to be more social with placements if they lived closer though and there was plenty to do in Oxford.
13. What was the cost of living and socialising in the area you worked in?
I lived in Oxford with another placement student. Oxford’s on the expensive side compared with the rest of the country so make sure you shop around when choosing a house as the rent was what threw me off guard. We pay £475 a month excluding bills for rent which would only leave me roughly £650 a month to play with.
14. What was the Nightlife like in the area you worked?
Oxford has plenty of bars, pubs and clubs. Cowley road is a hub of activity with plenty of cool places to eat, drink and see. I would recommend to any applicants living in Oxford to find something near Cowley as this area had a heavy student population so there was always something going on.
15. Were there many opportunities to get involved in activities outside of work?
There was opportunity to play football and games outside of work, as well as company parties such as Henley Regatta and our Christmas and Summer parties which were always good fun. There would often be the opportunity to visit the pub in the local village for a pint after work however.