15 August 2017

Teodora's Interview

Meet Teodora Costea, who started on the Graduate Professional Aftersales Advisor Programme in 2015 and has grown to become a great leading example for future graduates. 

Sabina had the chance to catch up with Tia and here is what she had to say about her exciting new role. 

Why did you apply?

"I wanted to get into the motor trade and have always like Land Rover. so this opportunity sounded like a great way to start a good career with a great company".

How hard was it to complete the training?

"It was a challenging experience because I was completely new to the industry, but I also had great fun with lots of support throughout the whole programme.  I've learned a lot since I started and can definitely say I couldn’t have done the job properly without the training I was given".

What was the most difficult part?

"Nothing. I had lots of support from my Manager and Mentor. Any questions I had I knew I could turn to them at anytime, plus all my colleagues wanted me to do well and were there to help me along the way". 
What was the easiest part?

"Having the support and commitment from my Manager to go through the process and succeed and because we are like a family here, having the backup of the team is very important to me".

What would you change if anything?

"I would like to learn more about the commercial and financial aspect of the business which I wouldn't normally do in my day to day job. I would have liked to spend more time with our Accountant learning about forecasting and budgeting".

How has it been as a woman in this role and department?


"It's been fantastic in many respects as women have more empathy and female customers often say they prefer to deal with other women. But it can also go the other way too...A customer once told one of my female colleagues that he wanted to deal with 'someone with balls!', he just wouldn't accept that she could do the job of Service Advisor in just the same way as a man".  


What advice would you give to a young person?


"This is a challenging role but it's also the first step to a great career with many opportunities.  So if you have a genuine desire and interest in customers and cars, then this is definitely a great job to have".


What future ambition do you have?


"I really want to be a workshop controller. I can handle customers but now I want to learn to understand the bigger picture and the controller's job is definitely one I want to progress into".


"Tia is passionate, loyal and willing to learn and that is important. She listens and embraces new tasks and as a result has become head of the breakdown team. Her ambitious nature will get her far, she has just got what it takes and in my view is the all-round trainee that everyone wants and I am delighted with her".

Jason Emanuel- Head of Business
​​Is there any pressure?

"Being in this department is definitely a pressured role but sometimes we create our own pressure.  Service Advisors sometimes think they need to take the whole problem away from the customer, when in fact we should be sitting them down, listening to the customer’s needs or problems and suggesting suitable solutions. Don’t always feel it is all your problem; we work as a team to sort out customer problems and are trained to deliver bad news in a professional manner by building relationships and trying to understand and empathise with the customer especially when they are upset".

DWYSYWD (Do what you say you will do)

"If you say you will call at 4pm to discuss their service, then always do so.  Also always be realistic with customers and put ownership back to the customer as well since it is their vehicle. It is all about handling the customers properly".

Advice

"Learn the basics so that you are comfortable with what you're doing. Build relationships with your team because it is a stressful environment and there will be bad days, so you need to make sure you always have someone to talk to.

My biggest advantage was the training, it gave me time to learn everything carefully from bookings to complaints".


What have your family and friends said about your role?

"My parents are very happy and excited for me. I’ve grown up around cars and my partner is in the trade also. My friends think my job is very cool".
Land Rover Knutsford are a firm believer of our programme and have since recruited further Graduates to join their team. Here is what Jason Emanuel, Managing Director, had to say about the team he has grown within his business.

Nicola Coveney (Sales Executive)
Nic was the first Trainee to join us 4 years ago and is an integral part of our Sales Team regularly achieving her targets.  

Beth Tyler-Smith (Service Advisor)
She is hard working, grounded and has great aspirations to go further.

Ashleigh Wilson (Sales Executive)
Ashleigh is a great asset to the business with her bubbly and charismatic personality with customers and colleagues alike.

Sam Smith (Sales Executive)
He is an energetic, bright and motivated Trainee, who is consistently upbeat and has a great attitude.