Life as a Business Administrator
Q: What attracted you to work at Calnex?
I’m an honest person so I am going to have to give an honest answer… initially, the first thing that attracted me to Calnex was the short commute to work! I live about a 5 minute car journey from the HQ office so I thought what’s not to like if I can get a few extra minutes in bed. But in all seriousness, after I came in for my first interview I knew it was going to be great place to work. Being part of a growing admin team, I quickly realised there would be opportunities for career development. It really is a great place to work.
Q: How long have you worked at Calnex and how has your career developed?
I started Calnex back in 2015 straight out of 6th year at high school. Like most people my age, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after I left school so I was open to the many suggestions Indeed.com and other job websites had at that time. I started my career at Calnex as a Modern Apprentice,studying at SVQ level 4 with West Lothian College. As I didn’t have much experience in administration, I started out doing junior level tasks such as purchasing of materials, booking travel, reception duties, mail management etc. The best way to describe my role at Calnex would be to say I am the “Go-To Person”. If something needs done they will come and see me and I will either do the job myself or point them in the direction of the person who will be able to help.
Over my (almost) 4 years at Calnex my career has developed quite a bit. I am now a Senior Administrator and taking on a lot more responsibility. Some of my higher level jobs now include organising our Global Sales Meeting where around 60 of our sales partners from all over the world travel to Scotland for training on our products.
As our Belfast office doesn’t have their own Admin team I fly over every 2-3 weeks to manage facilities and help out with any general tasks that might need done. I also collate and edit our bimonthly company newsletter.
Q: What is it that motivates you in the morning and gets you energised about your role?
I know it probably sounds cliché but the people at Calnex definitely motivate me each day and make coming into work easy. We are very lucky at Calnex to have such a good group of people from all over the world (Belfast, India, USA, China, Hong Kong and Malaysia) and I can’t forget about everyone at Linlithgow HQ.
Q: Talk us through a typical day for you at Calnex?
No two days at Calnex are the same. As my job is so varied I never really know what I am coming into each day which I quite like, it keeps things interesting. An average day will start off around 8:30am. I come into the office, turn my laptop on and then make myself a coffee to wake myself up a bit. It’s always easiest to go through my emails first so I can get a rough idea of what lies ahead and deal with any urgent requests that have come in overnight. Without fail, there will always be some sort of purchasing that needs done each day, whether it be a small thing from Amazon or a larger order through our main suppliers. I will also check my other email inbox for activity coming from our company website and forward on sales leads to the worldwide team. Generally the leads coming from the website convert into demos which ties up with my job as EMEA demo unit coordinator. This is where I ship out our products across Europe to allow our EMEA sales team to demonstrate how our products work. This will then again hopefully turn into a customer order which I will then approve and invoice in our purchasing system. So that’s a rough day in the life of Laura, of course I missed out the parts where I have a few biscuits and a blether with the rest of the admin team.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favourite thing about my job is probably how varied it is. Like I previously said, no two days are the same so it never gets repetitive. I am included in projects with various departments in the company, whether it be the sales teams, Marketing, R&D or Manufacturing. It’s good to get involved in things that aren’t my actual “day job” as it gives me insight into what goes on behind the scenes and gives me valuable knowledge that I can use should I want to change career path within the company.
Q: Most challenging aspects of your job?
Prioritising my workload is probably one of the most challenging things I do. I will always try to make everyone a main priority and get to their task as soon as possible but it can be hard when numerous requests come in from each department but it’s just a case of figuring out deadlines and working from there.
Q: What has been your biggest success at Calnex?
There are a few things I am proud of achieving at Calnex but I would say organising our first ever Global Sales Meeting last year is definitely my biggest success. I have organised numerous other company events in the past but this was for a handful of people compared to the 50/60+ sales partners we expect to be coming to this year’s Calnex GSM. I organised everything from sending out invitations to people all over the world, visiting venues, organising travel and accommodation, arranging entertainment, catering, transport, gifts, awards and help put together a finalised agenda. I appreciate the fact that I got to attend the event as well as organising it, it was great to meet everyone I had been in contact with over the months, putting a face to the name and networking. It was also useful to be there so if and when people had questions I would be able to help straight away and also fix minor problems that came up. It’s a good sense of achievement when you get to see the event take place and know that you helped make all this happen.
Q: What do you do for downtime?
I’m not a very exciting person when it comes to interests and hobbies. I love a good series on Netflix, socialising with friends, going out for food and drink.