CCEP Winners share the secrets of their sales success
What's the biggest brand in the world? Few are more famous than Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP). The business makes and distributes its flagship Coca-Cola brand, as well as a range of 19 soft drinks in Great Britain, which is why we were so excited to help them hire some fresh apprentices to work on their sales team.
First, our online challenge asked applicants to 'Market where you're from'. Students with the best entries were invited to an assesment day at CCEP's HQ in Uxbridge and its offices in Peterborough. Attendee's communication and sales skills were put to the test with a series of group activities and one-on-one interviews (all while sipping on a cold soft drink, naturally).
From there, 12 outstanding applications were selected to start as Sales apprentices for CCEP in September. Sounds exciting, right? Hear what the winners had to say for themselves - and pick up some marketing tips along the way!
Ben Kimble - Starting in London
Before the assessment day I felt a mixture of nerves and adrenaline. I could imagine myself working at the company in a years’ time, and saw the days as an amazing chances to prove myself. I researched CCEP and soon become hooked on the idea of working and helping them grow as a company!
During the whole process I've learnt just how far confidence can get you. Believing in yourself an change a small chance to amp amazing experience.
I never thought sales would be a job for me, however I have learnt I do have skills I haven't used in a workplace before I can practice and develop and become stronger with!
Apprenticeships allow earning while learning, no university debts, strengthens your CV and allows you to build contacts that help both for later in life and in the workplace.
Jack Power - Starting in Peterborough
Leading up to the assessment day I was slightly nervous. I knew that if I worked myself up I wouldn't not be myself in the interview, so I made sure that I stayed calm in order for me to think logically.
The greatest thing I learnt is to be open to consider every option. Before this apprenticeship opportunity, I was going down the university path to do a degree in marketing, advertising and branding. When I heard that the placement was in sales I automatically shut off as I felt that it'd be no use as experience for the future. However, after speaking to others, including marketing company owners, I came to the conclusion that this could be a great way of gaining experience in different positions that contribute to successful marketing. I still want a degree, but know this apprenticeship could be get me a place on CCEP's graduate scheme.
This is an opportunity to work my way up within a company with incomparable world recognition. Learning from those who made the brand so successful is so, so exciting.
Mariella Catling - Starting in London
Before the assessment day I knew I was taking place in workshops that help with interview skills and role play scenarios. As I knew this was all for an apprentice with Coca Cola I was nervous before the assessment day however I was also excited to see what was going to happen on the day.
After completing the workshops that were run by MyKindaFuture I believed that even if I didn't get the apprenticeship, the skills that I learnt on the day were skills that I will need in any interview. As a whole I knew I learnt skills that were going to be necessary for me later on so I would have still achieved something if I didn't get the apprenticeship making it overall worthwhile.
As an individual I understand the benefits of completing an apprenticeship as you are learning and working at the same time. Many young people go straight from school on to university where they come out with no experience of working which can become difficult whereas apprenticeships you are gaining this experience at the same time.
Bailey Danahar - Starting in Peterborough
Before the assessment day I completely unaware of what to expect. But when I arrived I quickly got to grips with the whole process. So, really, before the assessment day I was calm and relaxed.
The biggest thing I learnt from the whole process is to always be myself when trying to make an impression, because whoever you're trying to impress only wants to see the real you and what you're capable of.
The best thing about apprenticeships is that you dive in a start your career while learning a lot about the organisation you're working for. But you're paid on the job. So you get to earn and learn at the same time!
Charlie Bird - Starting in London
Before the assessment day I felt quite excited about attending the Coca-Cola offices and meeting all the other candidates. I knew that I had prepared well for the interview questions.
The biggest thing that I learned is to be fully prepared for the process. Getting to the interview stage is probably the hardest part so you need to be able to follow up by looking professional and smart, also practising questions that you may be asked is important.
The best thing about apprenticeships is that they are designed to give young people a chance at joining well respected organisations at a trainee level. I like that I am going to be given training and responsibilities that will enable me to gain valuable skills for my future career. University was not something that I ever wanted to pursue and I’m so glad that I’ve taken the apprenticeship route.
George Brown - Starting in Peterborough
On the assessment day I was very nervous. I didn't really know what to expect as I've never been involved in anything like it before. But the CCEP staff are great and calmed my nerves straight away, making me feel very welcome.
I learnt a lot of skills during the recruitment process. The assessments help to build my confidence, and I learned a lot of business/interview etiquette as well as the company itself.
The best thing about apprenticeships to me is that you can learn while you earn! You are paid while learning in a field you enjoy. Also you get a great amount of experience helping you in the long run.
Ross Lee - Starting in Peterborough
It seems funny now, but I didn't feel nervous, on the assessment day. felt exited and actually happy I was doing this. It felt like this was what I wanted to do and I just wanted to make sure that I did as well as I possibly could.
The biggest thing I learnt during the process was that interviews aren't just scary; they actually can be fun. At CCEP, the interviews weren’t incredibly formal and the interviewers we’re intent on doing everything by the book. Instead, when you walked in they treated you as in a reassuring way that helped boost my confidence to perform in the interview.
The best thing about apprenticeships has got to be that you're getting paid to learn, and you're getting paid to learn at that exact job and company so you can know the company in and out before you actually properly start working with them.