Where you start isn’t necessarily where you end up

July 18, 2023 Uncategorized

⁠We spoke with Technical Sales Engineer Jack Biggin about his time with the company so far:⁠

“I joined Smiths in May, 2019. I’d been looking on the gov.uk website for apprenticeships and came across a listing by Smith of Derby who were taking on clockmakers. The apprenticeship involved working at Smith of Derby and going to College one day a week over three years. I applied for the job as it looked like a good opportunity to acquire engineering skills with a specific focus, and I’ve stayed because of the people I’ve met here and now work alongside. When you tell people you work with clocks they instantly jump to grandfather clocks, but of course we tend to work at a much larger scale. ⁠

About a year into my apprenticeship, the pandemic happened and I joined the planning team for a while, calling clients and helping to arrange clockmaker visits to various sites. This gave me a chance to reflect and realise that I am well suited to a role where I’m interacting with people, spending time on the phone and building connections. Since then I have transitioned to a sales role, which utilising these softer skills while incorporating elements of my engineering knowledge.⁠

⁠”Experiencing different parts of the company opens you up to how people work and you pick up on the skills they have.”⁠

I like that each day is different here. Sometimes a job that is easier on the surface can evolve into something more complicated and require some detective work. As well as getting the client to build up a picture of what they’re after, we want to give them a really good sense of how we can assist them and give them reassurance that we are well placed to help them with their enquiry.⁠

Apart from accounting, I think I’ve worked in every department. Experiencing different parts of the company opens you up to how people work and you pick up on the skills they have. This has meant I now know how to approach different teams and give them the info they need without going in blind.

Working with clocks, they’re objects that people of all ages can relate to. They’re integral parts of communities and can be markers in people’s lives. To those who are thinking about an apprenticeship, I’d say keep an open mind. Where you start out isn’t necessarily where you end up and that expectation being undermined can be a good thing!”

About the author

Nicholas Whitworth: