Aqsa Mirza

The Pareto process was a positive experience from start to finish.

Aqsa Mirza graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Biomedical Science, before coming through the Pareto process and being placed at Danbro in 2009- she hasn’t looked back since!  

Who is your current employer?

I currently work as Business Development Manager for Danbro; Award-winning accountants for freelancers and contractors based in Lytham.

Why did you choose sales as a career?

Although I enjoyed studying Biomedical Science, I felt that my personality and characteristics would be better matched to a career in sales. I have always been very target driven and self-motivated so I knew that I would thrive in a dynamic sales environment. I am glad I made the decision to swap my science lab for the sales floor as I find it much more interesting and rewarding.

What was your experience of the Pareto recruitment process?

The Pareto process was a positive experience from start to finish.

Before attending the assessment a Graduate Manager informed me what would happen on the day and the questions I might be asked.

The assessment day was very enjoyable as I was able to socialise with other like minded graduates during the day. There were also many different elements involved in the process, such as presenting, group work and one to one interviews which gave me plenty of opportunities to showcase my skills.

What was the biggest challenge in the sales environment?

When I began my career at Danbro I started at the same time as two executive candidates who had previous experience within a sales environment. Immediately I felt that I would have to play catch-up.

From day one I was expected to perform to the same standard as the other sales professionals within the business. Despite having no experience in a sales role, I met the high expectations that had been set and quickly matched or exceeded the performances of the experienced executives- I have always enjoyed a challenge!

What have you found to be the best part of your role?

A day at Danbro is never boring. As Business Development Manager my role is very varied and fast-paced. An average day could consist of managing and keeping up to date with my team, sourcing new clients and making initial contact, arranging and attending face to face meetings with existing contacts to promote Danbros’ services. There is also a sociable aspect to the role as I frequently arrange dinners and drinks with my clients to develop business relationships. Attending various corporate networking events on behalf of the company is another exciting responsibility of mine!  

How has your career progressed?

In 2009 I joined Danbro as a Trainee- learning from the bottom up. Despite not having any previous experience in a sales role, I quickly settled into the business and began to hit all of my targets. My hard work and dedication saw me promoted to Sales Consultant after just 9 months. After my first promotion I did not stop pushing myself, I wanted to do better. My ambition and drive helped me to continuously exceed expectations and once again smash my targets. In 2011 I was promoted once more to my current role as Business Development Manager. More recently I have been put in charge of a small team of 5, which is hugely exciting to me.

I have been very lucky that Danbro have supported my progression. As well as rewarding my hard work with progressive job roles, they have sponsored my MBA in Business which I have just completed this year.

How do you see your future developing?

The last couple of years have been jam-packed mainly due to fitting in Master Level studies around my busy career. Now that I have completed my course, my main aim is to develop further in my new managerial role as it is still completely new to me.

I feel my future remains with Danbro as they have constantly provided me with new opportunities and they invest in their staff. I would love to perhaps explore other roles within the business and widen my skill set and experience even further.

Is there any advice you’d offer to others considering a career in sales?

A career in Sales is not something that many graduates consider- but they definitely should.

If you are self-motivated and driven by targets then a career in Sales could be for you.

I’d say that a career in sales can be very varied and involves much more than just cold-calling. If you are considering a career in the sector you must be able to build relationships with people as it is a big part of any sales role.

If you decide a career in Sales is for you then you are guaranteed to learn so many new skills at a rapid rate. You can progress as quickly and as far as you as you like- you get back what you put in! 

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