Graduating during a global financial crisis might have signalled disaster for some graduates’, but for James Nixon it opened a door to forging a successful career in Sales for one of the world’s most recognised luxury car manufacturers.
“I work in Sales for Mercedes-Benz which involves spending a lot of time at the dealerships, working with prospective clients and following a sale through to delivery,” said James. “My job is hard work but I love it. The company put a lot of money back into their staff and I have the opportunity to travel all over Europe as part of our product training: I’ve been to Croatia, Portugal and Spain in the last few months, and we have the chance to be right at the forefront of the industry, bringing in the newest technologies and sales tools.
“I graduated just before the market crashed, and at the time going through the recession was awful. I was working for Land Rover and the dealership I was based in closed down, I felt like the sky was falling in.
“Looking back now it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It taught me resilience and how to cope in a stressful situation and bounce back. Now I work for Mercedes-Benz and it’s so busy that we can’t meet the demand – I’ve gone from one extreme to another.
“Students graduating now they might find themselves in a similarly uncertain situation. My advice to them is to just concentrate on what you’re doing and ignore the distractions in the background. As long as you’re doing the right things, getting plenty of work experience and applying for jobs which match your skillset, hard work pays off.”
“The best advice I can give to any student is to make sure they do as much work experience as they possibly can and, if you want to make it in sales, get as comfortable as you can with public speaking. Sales jobs rely on being able to make pitches in rooms full of traders and doing a lot of roleplay as part of your product training, so put yourself forward for presentations and stand up in a room full of people until it becomes second nature.
“My course at Edge Hill really prepared me for going into sales, the lecturers were really supportive and there was a real emphasis on presenting and pitching in all of our modules, I’d recommend studying at the Business School to anyone.”