I am a… National Account Manager
The Business Management and Marketing degree gives you a good business knowledge that is highly applicable in the real business world. Victoria Brown, for instance, has been able to put lots of the skills she learned during her four-year degree into practice in her role as a National Account Manager for Weetabix Ltd.
“My degree subject gave me a broad base of business knowledge and, along with my placement year, this ultimately led me into a career of account management,” says the 30-year-old, from Cambridgeshire.
“The company was looking for a high calibre graduate with experience of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) account management. They wanted someone with strong negotiation skills, commercial acumen, presentation skills, numeracy and ultimately the desire to succeed.”
Victoria has risen to the challenge and enjoys her demanding but rewarding career. “One of the things I love about my job is that every day is a challenge. I am responsible for the management and strategic development of the accounts I manage, ensuring Weetabix Limited achieves its customer management mission and objectives. This covers a portfolio of branded products, including the UK’s number one cereal brand, Weetabix.”
I have responsibility to deliver budgeted financial targets, promotion activity, new product development launches and customer joint business plans.”
Originally from West Yorkshire Victoria chose to study at Harper Adams because it was “friendly, down to earth and rural. The placement year in particular boosted my career opportunities - work experience, especially in the current economic climate, is priceless. It is what gets you through the door when you apply for a graduate job”
She spent that year in industry at KG Fruits Limited (now Berry Gardens), which supplies soft fruit to supermarkets. “I was an Assistant Trading Manager on the Marks & Spencer account, which involved assisting the M&S Account Manager by collating availability from the grower base and investigating invoice queries. I later based my dissertation on branding in the soft fruit industry, and my placement company gave me lots of support.”
Her advice to future students interested in a similar career would be to “gain as much experience as you can and put yourself out. Be prepared to work summer vacations and move to a new location. Employers want to see your desire to succeed.
“I’d recommend Harper Adams University as it’s a great life experience and well recognised in the food industry.”