January 2014 | Field application specialist, Whitehead Scientific
I am currently working for Whitehead Scientific (Pty) Ltd as a Field Application Specialist in Immunology and Cell Biology products. I have a BSc. Hons (Medical Bioscience), and completed my Masters degree at the University of the Western Cape where I studied fetal origins of adult disease, with a thesis that focused on The Effects of Maternal Nicotine Exposure on Cell Proliferation on the lungs of the offspring.
1) Briefly describe what your job involves.
I carry out all sales related activities in order to maintain and develop sales of various products on offer by the company in the Western Cape, in accordance with agreed sales and marketing plans.
2) What would a typical day at the office entail?
I hardly spend time in the office; my job is a mobile position where I am required to spend approximately 5 hours of the working day related to sales and responding to technical and service calls of customers. I generally go to the office after lunch to attend to queries and administrative work.
3) Can you describe the most exciting part of your job?
Meeting new clients and visiting existing clients as we share life's journeys. What I have learnt about sales is that it mostly requires relationship building, trust and providing solutions to customers.
4) What would be your favourite part of your job?
Interacting with clients and providing solutions.
5) What would be your least favourite part of your job?
Administrative work and failure to assist.
6) How did you make your career choice?
I am a scientist at heart. My time was mostly spent in the lab and I thought I would be there until I complete my PhD but because of my charismatic personality, I was approached by Adcock Ingram -The Scientific Group in 2010. I started as a Graduate trainee. My Sales experience as a Product Specialist started in 2011 where my key deliverables were to focus on territory sales function, expanding product knowledge and achieving sales targets. I didn't even know such a position existed. The career choice was introduced to me and I grew in it and now I love every moment of it. This opportunity pushed me to study further; I have been able to complete my Masters degree part time while still remaining full time employed.
7) What qualifications do you require to work in your field?
BSc (Hons) or MSc in the Life Science or Health Sciences field.
8) Can you describe the most important skills you require for this work environment?
The general skills required for a sales position include good communication skills, troubleshooting and problem solving, independent strategic thinking, an ability to learn quickly, being analytical, assertive and strong willed.
With regards to my current position, one requires a basic practical competence in a variety of immunological and cell biology techniques, practical experience in demonstrating and troubleshooting gel documentation equipment is also required.
Always remember all competencies in skills will change with every job portfolio and therefore you need to be very willing to adapt to a changing environment.
9) What does leadership mean to you?
It means sacrifice, commitment and keeping a positive attitude. It is to have the will and capacity to use one's own personality and abilities to achieve excellence in a principled, strategic, and effective manner, that carries out moral authority in pursuit of human dignity, social fulfillment and integrated success.
10) What advice would you give girls who are considering a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematic (STEM)?
Personal success by a Scholar which does not translate into a wider benefit for society does not in itself meet the goal of a Scientific Leader.
We are all here to write our own stories, choose your title, work hard, surround yourself with positive people who make you a better person, give respect were its due, learn to say please, thank you, keep your word, dream….Dreaming takes you to your dreams. With all that said love to LOVE.