Updating Results

Michaela Zadow

What's your job about?

My role as a Sales Operations Executive is essentially to try and make life ‘easier’ for our business development managers (BDMs) who are out in the field selling and promoting Diageo products. The Sales Ops team also acts as an intermediary between the different departments of the business to ensure that the strategy, marketing, innovation and sales plans are executed effectively. We act as a support hub for the BDMs so if they have any questions we can find them a solution or point them in the right direction.

My day-to-day tasks involve sifting through data from a variety of sources and presenting it in a way which reflects the progress of goals and trends. In my first couple weeks I have been tasked with making a ‘excel generator template’ which inputs sales data and can show BDMs how certain products are performing across different regions. If there is a particular project that I am interested in, I have the freedom to join the team and help out. Although there are compulsory reporting aspects, there is also great scope to be creative and pursue areas of interest.

What's your background?

I grew up on a farm in rural South Australia on the Murray River. I completed all my education up to Year 10 in the country and then went to boarding school at Walford Anglican School for Girls in Year 11 & 12. I wanted to move interstate for University, so I was fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend Bond University on the Gold Coast. In 2016 I completed a university exchange to Copenhagen Business School and it was then that I knew with absolute certainty that I wanted to work in a global company. I graduated from Bond with a Bachelor of Laws/ Bachelor of Business (International Business) degree.

At university I had a variety of jobs ranging from hospitality to retail. In my final year I was lucky to get the role as a Marketing Assistant for Telstra’s Young Business Women of the Year – Tina Tower. In this job I worked on a variety of her business ventures varying from fashion start ups, to Hollywood film production and school readiness centres.

Working for Diageo has been a goal of mine for a long time. In my final year I had a list of companies I wanted to work for above my desk and Diageo was always at the top. As soon as I saw the graduate program advertised I applied right away! It’s now my third week in and I couldn’t be happier in my new role and city (Sydney)!

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Someone with a different background could definitely do the same job – there is no ‘Sales Ops template/checklist’. The great thing about this role is that you can make it ‘your own’ and get involved with projects that excite you. I’m finding that so long as you have a desire to learn, you can pick up the required processes. Diageo has a very collaborative work culture so you also need to be comfortable asking plenty of questions (seriously I ask a question every 3 minutes!). The people here are more than happy to help and are so good at what they do.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

It has to be the brands and the dedicated team that bring these brands to life! I love how Sales Ops is involved with every area of the company. In the morning I might be sitting in on an innovation meeting about an exciting new product and in the afternoon I could be working with the Shopper team on new activations and how we will execute it in the field. I really appreciate that even though I’m fresh out of Uni I have one-on-one meetings with my manager where I can check-in and get feedback on how I’m going.

What are the limitations of your job?

The biggest limitation of my job is that there is so much to learn! We use multiple complex databases/sites/reporting systems which are required for the role. It can be quite overwhelming. However, on my first day my manager said to me:

Manager: “How do you eat an elephant?”
Me: “Ahh what!?”
Manager: “One bite at a time”

This principle is so true! Despite this limitation of having to absorb so much information in a short period, I love the challenge and the team is very dedicated to getting you up to date so you can perform well.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Take more time to just breathe! Everything will work out!
  • Socialising with friends at the Uni bar can actually provide you with great product knowledge in your future career
  • Excel runs the world – pay more attention in Excel based classes