We sat down (virtually) to shine the spotlight on AES Solar Sales Coordinator, Cameron Duncan. We talked about all things Graduate Apprenticeships to celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021.
Hi Cameron, can you start by telling us what apprenticeship you are doing?
I am currently undertaking a Graduate Apprentice (GA), studying Business Management. My role here at AES Solar is Sales Coordinator. I study at Robert Gordon University, and Skills Development Scotland developed the programme.
What was your route from school to where you are now?
I applied to an apprenticeship and training provider expressing an interest to gain qualifications whilst working. They put me in touch with AES Solar, who at the time were looking to grow their sales team. On completion of a Modern Apprenticeship in Business Management, I was made aware of a new Graduate Apprenticeship scheme. Three years later I am now on course to graduate in 2022 and haven’t looked back since!
Not long to go now then! How does your apprenticeship work?
I study a variety of business topics, as normal for any undergraduate student. The theory I have learned is implemented within the workplace, this is called work-based learning (WBL). I then have to showcase that I am able to apply this to my role at AES Solar.
Why did you know an apprenticeship right for you?
I always knew I wanted a business career within sales and that a degree was not essential for an entry position in this role. I thought it would be more beneficial to gain valuable experience to ensure the line of work was right for me. The role at AES Solar allowed me to gain this vital experience and qualifications. The GA scheme presented a great opportunity for me which I could not refuse!
What is a typical day like for you?
As a sales advisor, most of my workload is customer focussed. I handle lead qualification and follow up with customers to make sure they have all the information they require to make an informed decision. With WBL and the theory I have learned, I also get the opportunity to recommend new processes and ideas.
What’s the best thing about your GA?
The Graduate Apprenticeship has given me the tools and knowledge to better understand how AES Solar is operated. The course covers a wide range of topics, from finance to operations. As I am in the early stages of my career the course has also given me a better understanding of how to advance my own personal and professional development. The apprenticeship is also a great opportunity (pre-Covid-19 restrictions) to meet people from different industries and backgrounds.
What impact has your GA had on you?
The Graduate Apprenticeship at AES Solar has not only increased my knowledge of my profession. I also have increased confidence in myself and what I can offer. We have always had an open-door policy here at AES Solar with new ideas encouraged. However, now feel I have the theory behind my suggestions to make a strong case. My communication and presentation skills have also improved. This certainly comes in handy when making a pitch to the SMT, wider team or a client. I have gained a deeper understanding of how businesses are run which has offered a new perspective to my role here at AES Solar.
In your opinion, what do you believe you bring to AES Solar?
The apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to have a substantial impact on the company. I have the skills and knowledge to know that I can make a recommendation confidently to the SMT, with the necessary theory to back it up. I appreciate everything AES Solar has done so far in getting me to this point. Their support has made this all possible. They have invested directly in my personal and professional development and my career goals. With the skills and knowledge I have gained I hope to repay them for their efforts. I hope to assist in meeting the wider company goals and achieving brilliance together.
Brilliant Cameron, thanks for your time today!