Chris Chomsoonthorn shares details of his first year working at Nissan since graduating with a BSc Marketing Management in 2018.
Life since graduating from Lancaster has been exhilarating. Being on the fast-paced and challenging Sales & Marketing grad scheme at Nissan has been an amazing experience. It’s been exactly a year since I joined – there have been countless late nights finalising important presentations, dealer visits, speaking with customers, and lots and lots of cars.
I started initially in the Marketing Planning department, responsible for forecasting, marketing expenditure, along with volume and margin planning. A large element of my job revolved around reporting, and I spent my first couple of months automating the many reports to allow more time for analysis.
Near Christmas I was asked to move to the Managing Director’s office, to work as the Strategy and Business Planning graduate. At first, I felt a bit overwhelmed as the role involved a lot of high-level stakeholder engagement; something I had no prior experience in, but I quickly settled in.
I have been in that role since January and have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities, from going to new model launches and ‘disruption days’, to coordinating companywide presentations and hosting European colleagues.
I won the Managing Director’s award for Teamwork, sponsored by the Marketing Director at Nissan GB. I felt very proud and humbled to have achieved this, and I will continue to work as hard as I can!
I recognise from time to time how my experience at Lancaster helped me achieve where I am today. Problem-solving and critical thinking are two key skills which, without undergoing that university experience, would not have been developed to the extent they have been for me now. Having to research, critique and pick at academic papers for the MKTG 316 essay in Consumer Behaviour, or think ‘big picture’ in MKTG 301 Strategy changed the way I approached situations. I have become more critical, more aware and confident. Often times I find at work there are certain ways of doing things which haven’t changed, and at first I took them for granted, but over time I have been challenging these processes and finding ways to improve, which has led to many efficiencies.
Work life, of course, is very different to uni life. The challenge of work is managing a large volume of workload which tends to be relatively straightforward, whereas academia is typically much more intellectually challenging. I found that I really had to improve my organisation skills after university, as I am involved in a lot more things now.
If there is one piece of advice I can suggest to fresh graduates who are also beginning their career, it is to always think about the end-user. Be customer-focused, no matter who your customer may be – your boss, stakeholders, actual consumers etc. Make the experience around what you do the best it can be, and when you leave that job it should be in a better position than when you began.
To sum up – university experience has been essential in my development. I’m grateful for the learning experience at Lancaster, have enjoyed the first year of my career, and am excited for what is yet to come!