We Are Randox | A year in the life of placement student Jenna Ireland
This week marks the end of the 2016/17 academic year for our Randox Placement Students. As we say goodbye and wish them luck for the future, we reflect on the year they have spent with us.
Jenna Ireland, a Business Management student from Ulster University, finishes her year-long placement tomorrow, Friday 11th August, before embarking on her final year of studies.
We sat down for a chat with Jenna to find out how she has found the placement experience, and what she wants to let students know about what it’s like to do a placement year with Randox.
This is what Jenna had to say:
I found out about the Randox Placement programme through our University Career Centre, as Randox has very close links with Ulster University.
I liked the sound of a company with such vast experience and a truly global presence. The company has a fantastic reputation across Northern Ireland as a leading business and employer so I thought, where better to spend my placement year?
The international network at Randox was truly apparent as soon as I began to work here. My colleagues in the team in which I was placed, which is the Sales Team for a number of specific regions including India, were so welcoming and supportive in spite of the extremely high-level careers they are in. They made time for me and went out of their way to help me to settle into my role and life at Randox even though they are so busy managing the sales for so many countries!
I began my time at Randox with a full two weeks of training to ease me into what has been my first full-time job. This gave me an overview of the company, the products and services I would be selling, the Randox ethos, the responsibilities of my job role, and the format of the placement programme.
I have also received training throughout the year on newly launched products to ensure total understanding of the technologies with which we are working. I wanted to gain a really in-depth knowledge of our Randox products so I also took it upon myself to complete online training modules.
The role itself that I have had during my time here at Randox is Sales Support Executive. This has involved assisting our team with research tasks as well as introducing new mechanisms to be used by our team after I leave. I have had the opportunity to really make my mark on the sales systems in place, by working on important projects including our organisational charts and our sales report, which is presented to Senior Management. I’ve also been involved in distributor relationship management, to make sure we always have the best partners in place for Randox.
I really feel like I’ve learnt a lot during my time here. I know that for some students in other organisations, during their placements they are unfortunately encumbered with the boring administrative tasks that more senior members of the team try to avoid, but it hasn’t been like that for me at all. The responsibilities with which my manager Rebekah has entrusted me have given me a real insight into the role of a salesperson in a very dynamic and fast-paced environment. I’ve loved meeting and interacting with members of our global team, as well as our distributors and customers.
My favourite moments during my time here have definitely been attending our Global Sales and Distributor Conferences. Spending time with a wealth of Randox salespeople from around the world meant that I could lean on their advice and experience to learn what it means to be a good sales person. I was able to talk to them about how to manage staff, about their tactics for increasing sales, and generally just get an overview of their roles and responsibilities. It’s great to hear from our global sales staff about their country, their culture, their language. There are such fantastic opportunities to travel at Randox which makes a sales job here so exciting.
Throughout my year at Randox I have had to submit two four-month reports to university, the first in October and the second in March, to assess and evaluate my placement. My tutor also came out to Randox to have a face-to-face meeting with my manager and me to discuss how I have been getting on, and my Randox mentor met with me regularly throughout the year to make sure I had all the support I required.
At the end of my placement I then submitted a placement portfolio including a 5000-word report on my time at Randox. I had to explain everything that I had learnt here and how I put into practice the skills and knowledge I had gained from university.
University is a fantastic stepping-stone into the working world, but you truly start to learn what it means to have a career when you experience the industry you want to work in for yourself. My final report for university was really useful because it enabled me to look back on my time here and reflect on what a fantastic experience it has been.
Not only have I grown in confidence, in my abilities and in my vocational development (simple things like writing professional emails and answering the phone in a polite and engaging way!) but I have also made some great friends.
Randox is such a friendly place and the team I have working beside me has been part of the reason I have enjoyed my time here so immensely. We get on really well together and quite often we go out together for lunch on a Friday as an end-of-week treat.
As I finish up my time here (I can’t believe it’s been a year already!) I really want to take the opportunity to thank everyone at Randox for all their support over the year, and of course to thank my sales team for teaching me so much.
To my Line Manager Rebekah Tougher and to my Global Manager Paul Turnbull in particular I want to say a massive thank you for being such fantastic role models and for truly taking me under your wing and helping me flourish.
The first step in my Business Management career has been amazing and it’s thanks to the amazing team at Randox.
Now time to get my head back into the books for my final year of uni! Wish me luck!
We wish Jenna and her fellow placement students all the best as they head back to university. We might even see them return in the future as Randox graduates!
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For current vacancies in our team, visit careers.randox.com