From Software Product Manager to Sales Leadership. When Charlotte Lavelle embarked on her Full-time MBA in 2019 with the ambition of a wholescale change in her career, she never imaged that she would be driving around in a red transit van and a hard hat but she absolutely loves it.
What did you do before embarking on your MBA?
I worked at BT – starting on their Graduate Scheme in Procurement, moving into Learning and Development, and then into Software Product Management in BT’s global business.
What prompted you to study an MBA?
After six years at BT, I knew that I wanted a wholescale change in my career – profession and industry, but I didn’t quite know what that looked like yet. I also knew I had gaps in my experience that may limit my ability to make any significant career moves in the future. So, I decided to do a Full-time MBA to give me the space and focus to really work out what I wanted to do next, whilst also giving me the building blocks and filling in some of my gaps to help me move up into senior management.
How have the CareersPlus team supported you?
The CareerPlus team were integral in helping me, they were one of the reasons I chose to do my MBA at WBS in the first place. They gave me the time and opportunity to really interrogate my thought processes and assumptions about what I really wanted to do versus what I thought I ought to do, they helped me realise what made me happy, what was important to me and what I needed from my future career. They also gave me confidence to go out there and believe that I could make a profession and industry change in one go! Finally, they really helped me during the application process by giving me the confidence to apply for roles that were a big change, in reviewing applications and ultimately practise interviews. I couldn’t have done it without them!
Post MBA, have you realised your career aspirations?
I joined Hilti – one of the largest global suppliers of products and services to the building construction industry. I have joined their Sales Leadership scheme meaning I start as an Account Manager driving a red transit van full of tools that I drive around my patch of Coventry and Warwickshire! I absolutely love it and it is a bigger change from what I was doing pre-MBA than I could ever have imagined but it’s absolutely perfect for me! I will then move into a Regional Manager role, running a team of Account Managers. Moving into the construction industry was never the plan, but Hilti is a truly fantastic place to work and I’m absolutely loving van life! It’s the perfect opportunity to get the on the job sales experience that I needed to fill that gap and then hopefully move into management to put it all together!
What plans do you have for the future?
My ultimate hope is that one day I can run big teams of brilliant people and help them achieve brilliant things. My hope is that by using all the different pieces of the puzzle that I am trying to bring together – my big corporate experience from BT, my MBA learnings, my current sales experience and hopefully my future leadership experience – that I can keep moving up and keep learning more.