At ProspectSoft, we have three different sales placement opportunities. These are placed across our New Business, Account Management and Customer Service teams. These roles all include direct communication with potential/existing clients and the management of the complete sales cycle, including onsite visits when required. You will be given a high level of responsibility for two of the most important functions in our business; making sales and customer service. You must be prepared to be thrown in at the deep end, be able to forge relationships with customers and team members, as well as being able to manage your own time effectively.
My placement year at ProspectSoft has been very beneficial and I have enjoyed learning new skills. Although it has been challenging at times, I remained motivated and positive to ensure I got the most out of my year on placement. I was given the opportunity to get involved in a lot of projects and I have enjoyed experiencing the different aspects of working within the Customer Success Team. I have also met some amazing people working at ProspectSoft and feel lucky to have shared my placement year with them.
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I feel very valued by my colleagues, and one of the best things about ProspectSoft is that you don’t get viewed as ‘a placement student’. From day one I have been given a huge amount of responsibility and my managers’ have put a lot of trust in me to complete tasks independently. I haven’t felt like a placement student at all this year, I have felt like a permanent member of staff, whose opinions and contributions have been highly valued, unlike some of my other friends who have been on placement too this year.
My job role has been very technical, and because I do not come from a technical background, at the start I relied on my manager’s quite heavily for support and guidance. However, I could not fault my manager because whenever I asked for help or just asked a general question, I never got made to feel bad or like a burden. My manager was always there to offer help whenever I needed it.
Being the customers first point of contact, I was always busy and cannot really remember a day where I have not had anything to do. The thought of having a constantly heavy workload has been quite daunting at times, however this has helped me develop my time management skills which has been very beneficial. Each day is different in the Customer Success Team and you can end up working on a range of different tasks each day, which means the job is never boring and you are able to use all the skills you learnt during the training month.
I have been trusted with some really important jobs during my placement at ProspectSoft, one of which was managing our customers CommuniGator (email marketing) Accounts. I was the main point of contact for the customers who used CommuniGator and I managed around 50 accounts. Day to day tasks included delivering training, product demonstrations, and offering general assistance and advice with creating email marketing campaigns. I also worked with the Marketing Team Leader to re-brand and update our CommuniGator page on our website, as well as training the new placements on CommuniGator and email marketing.
Although I probably won’t be using the technical skills I have learnt whilst being on placement due to the degree I am doing, I have definitely learnt and developed skills in other areas that are transferrable. My confidence has grown massively, and I now feel a lot more relaxed when presenting in front of a group of people, and this is something that will be required of me when I go back to university! Additionally, I have development my communication skills, due to speaking to ProspectSoft’s large customer base on a daily basis. Networking and building business relationships with customers is something I can do effectively now, and I believe this is a skill I can take with me beyond university and into my future career.
Everyone is very friendly and always up for having a laugh in the office, so the atmosphere is very positive and fun. One of the things everyone at ProspectSoft is good at is finding the balance of having fun at work, but still working hard and remaining professional. Everyone is always willing to help you, even if they’re not in the same department as you, which has been really nice for me, as working in the Customer Success Team has meant that at some point during my placement year I have needed help/assistance from each department. We moved to a new office during my placement year and this was really beneficial as everyone is in one big office now which meant I got to know more people and it was less daunting when I needed to go and speak to someone in a different department.
I felt the placement at ProspectSoft was very well organized and structured. Around a fifth of ProspectSoft’s employees are placements, so they put a lot of time into their placements by ensuring they are supported throughout the year as they do rely on us a lot. Our placement year started off with a month’s training program, which I believe is something that makes ProspectSoft’s placement scheme so successful. We were thrown in at the deep end when we went into our departments, however having a month dedicated to training allowed us to get to grips with the different solutions we would be using, and this made me feel a lot more confident when I did go into my department.
The first month at ProspectSoft is taken up by a training program that is specifically designed for placement students. The training month was very helpful, and I honestly don’t think I would’ve been able to carry out my daily tasks without it. You are very much thrown in at the deep end when you get into departments, however the training month helped develop my confidence and gave me some basic knowledge which helped hugely. As a Customer Success Assistant, it was very much a case of learning on the job, but the Service Desk were always on hand to teach me the technical things I needed to know.
ProspectSoft often offer a lot of their placements a full time-permanent job once they have finished university. Although this isn’t a graduate scheme, the thought of being offered a permanent job after university is still appealing. I would feel a lot more confident coming back to ProspectSoft and going into a job I was already familiar with.
I lived with 4 other placements and we did a lot of things after work like going out for dinner, going to the pub and nights out. We also had department nights out, including going bowling and curry nights, which have been a lot of fun. The company also has a social committee, who organize annual events like the Summer BBQ, and the Christmas party – we went to Junkyard Crazy Golf this year which was lots of fun! We also went to Henley Royal Regatta, which was a lot of fun too.
I lived in Oxford during my placement year which is about 30 minutes away from the office. Oxford is generally quite an expensive place to live, however there are places closer to Stokenchurch that are cheaper, however Oxford is a big student area so it was a lively place to live and go out.
There isn’t a lot in Stokenchurch as it is a small village, however Oxford is only 30 minutes way, so this is the place where most people went out. Oxford has 2 universities so there are lots of student bars and clubs that we went to throughout the our year on placement.
There are a lot of activities to get involved in with people at ProspectSoft, including football, squash, games nights, nights out in Oxford and department curry nights. As well as the annual Christmas party, summer BBQ and Placement leaving/joining do's. Each one gives you a good chance to get to know other people that aren't in your department.