CLAS Graduate Profile: Sara Walters
Sara Walters, a recent Liverpool graduate in International Business and German, blogs about her new job in the Business-to-Business sector. In particular, Sara tells us how her degree helped her to secure the position.
I spent my year abroad doing an internship in Bonn, Germany. I worked for a multi-national engineering company, where I gained experience in sales and marketing. I chose this company very carefully, because from the start of my studies, I knew I wanted to be a sales representative in the Business-to-Business sector.
Four months before finishing my degree, I uploaded my resume on several recruitment websites. Just two weeks later an international company invited me in for an interview and three days later, I received an offer as a part-time multi-lingual customer advisor until the end of my degree, and promised a full-time contract from July onwards.
Although I enjoyed working within a multi-lingual team, my position did not require any business knowledge and I realised how important it was for me to work in sales, rather than after-sale and customer service. I therefore quit my job and put my CV back online. Two weeks after my last exam, a recruitment company contacted me on behalf of a very successful recycling company. Once again, my languages skills definitely gave me a huge advantage: three interviews later, I received a job offer for a business development and sales coordinator position. I started working long before my graduation ceremony and I really enjoyed being able to use everything I had learnt at University. I was speaking English, French, German and Spanish on a day-to-day basis and I was responsible for all the export customers worldwide.
The only downside of the job was that I had to buy a car to get to work every day, and it would take me almost an hour drive to get there. Driving two hours a day was expensive and tiring. I therefore decided to put my CV back onto the internet once again. One week later, the HR manager of a multi-national company based in the city centre of Liverpool called me and asked me to come in for an interview. She was looking for a French/English or German/English sales representative. During my interview, she verified that I could indeed speak the three languages; the next morning, she offered me the position of multi-lingual sales representative. The role was very similar to my previous one, but involved a week’s training in New York and a significant salary increase.
My experience so far shows that foreign languages are in very high demand! I would definitely recommend this career path to anyone with an interest in foreign languages or business.