Aviation - profile
Name: Aleksandra Szymanowska
Job Title: Sales: Commercial Airline Sales
Studied: BSc Economics with Russian, University of Birmingham
Location: Leatherhead, Surrey
After years in education and dreaming about a ‘proper’ job I was very keen to enter the business world through a position where you get thrown in at the deep end from day one and the environment challenges you and continuously motivates. Most importantly I really wanted to put the theoretical aspects of my degree into perspective and see the market forces in action.
My main criteria when looking for a job were simple: I wanted to work for a company with significant global presence, which would be diverse enough to offer challenging opportunities not only from the first day, but also for years to come.
Looking back at my first 2 years with ExxonMobil I am almost surprised to notice that not only I still enjoy the job, but given the changing market environment my job is still exciting and challenging. As soon as I start to think that I am fully in control, yet another major business change occurs, and it’s back to learning the basics again.
I joined ExxonMobil Aviation as a Sales Representative looking after a portfolio of commercial airlines in the Europe, Africa and Middle East region. As a Sales Rep I am fully responsible for managing my accounts – anything form negotiating new contracts with customers, looking at a more long-term strategy at airport level, or managing risk and financial exposure of the accounts.
I was given real responsibility from the very first day on the job. The realization of the magnitude of my autonomy actually felt almost overwhelming at the very beginning. I was able to make my own decisions which impacted not only the customers (the airlines), but also regular travelers. In this role, as it is the case for most roles within ExxonMobil, you work in a diverse, international team. On a daily basis I would work closely with my colleagues in both Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The company also provided me with an extensive training program as well as gave me opportunities for international travel – either attending business meetings or visiting customers. I was certainly able to use my language skills. Now, after 2 years in the role I am really excited to look what the future will bring. Given what I have seen and experienced so far I am certain that my next assignment will be just as exciting and challenging as the first.