In August 2016, I kicked off my Hilti career in London as a Project Sales Specialist for the Thames Tideway Tunnel – AKA the “Super Sewer”. Knowing nothing about construction, I can honestly say I learned something new every day!

1 year ago, United Kingdom

London Calling

Sales is the first step in the commercial track of the Outperformer programme – usually as an Account Manager handling a large portfolio of customers; working on various separate construction projects, both large and small. 70% of Hilti’s global workforce are involved in direct sales, so understanding how this works is crucial for future development.

 

In central London, things often work a little differently…Firstly, we don’t drive, we walk! Who needs traffic when you have the Tube? Secondly, we work on Projects, not Accounts. This means we hold a small portfolio of very high value construction projects (high rise buildings, tunnels, hospitals etc.) and coordinate sales from the job site level between all the different contractors working on a build. We work a bottom-up sales approach from the job site, as opposed to a top-down approach from the customer account. This involves a lot of coordination with Account Managers and support staff in the regional hub of Manchester.

My project is the £4.2bn Thames Tideway Tunnel – a “super sewer” which is being constructed under the river Thames. Why is this happening? London is an old city with a long tradition of amazing engineering. However, it wasn’t always as pleasant to take a walk along the Thames… It’s a fact of life – what goes in must come out! Every city needs to dispose of waste, and in the early 1800s, the river Thames was an open sewer. This culminated in the “Great Stink” of 1858, when even the Members of Parliament were unable to ignore the stench as they sat in debate at Westminster. In response, one of the great engineers of the day, Sir Joseph Bazalgette, built the Victorian sewer system which London still uses today.

So why the Tideway Tunnel now? With great foresight, Sir Bazalgette built the existing sewer system with capacity to serve 4 million people, at a time when London’s population stood at 2 million. Fast forward to 2017, and the population of London is far over 8 million inhabitants. This means the existing system if far past capacity, and when it rains, water levels rise and dump excess sewage right into the river Thames! To avoid the return of the “Great Stink”, and reconnect Londoners with their iconic river, the Tideway Tunnel will stretch 25km along the part of the Thames and collect excess waste for treatment in Europe’s largest processing facility. This project will safeguard London’s odour-free future for the next 100 years or so.

Being part of a construction project which will become part of the story of London is one of most rewarding parts of my Sales rotation. This is one of my favourite things about Hilti – we make real products, for a real world, which shape the built environment around us. I don’t think I will ever look at a construction site in the same way again!

Very lucky to represent Hilti at the 2017 CEMS Career Forum in Budapest! Amazing chance to reconnect with my CEMS alumna mater and share my story with Hilti - thanks for the memories! :)

4 weeks ago, Budapest Corvinus University - Faculty of Business Administration

CEMS Reunion! Budapest Career Forum 2017

Hilti is of course a proud sponsor and corporate partner of the CEMS programme, of which myself and many Hilti colleagues graduated from. In fact…CEMS is the very reason I first heard about Hilti when our Hilti Ireland General Manager introduced a business project to my class at University College Dublin! This was my route to Outperfomer@Hilti and the rest as they say is history!

What is CEMS? An international alliance of business schools dedicated to promoting the next generation of international, multilingual, multicultural leaders. In practical terms, it is an international master’s degree in management which is jointly offered by a group of truly top international business schools around the world. Much more than that though, it is the most incredible network of open minded, international people I know!

It was a huge honour and highlight to be able to represent Hilti Northern Europe at the Career Forum and speak to so many insipiring CEMSies…and yes, as you can tell from the photo, at Hilti we like to work hard and play harder!

To any CEMSies reading this who want to keep expanding their international comfort zones postgraduation, the OUTPERFORMER programme may be right up your street!

Mark

Commercial Track, Year Two

  • Rotation 1:

    Sales – Mega-Project Thames Tideway Tunnel | London

  • London Calling
  • Rotation 2:

    Sustainability – Creating & Testing Sustainability Sales Approach | UK

  • CEMS Reunion! Budapest Career Forum 2017
  • Rotation 3:

    Marketing – “Care & Grow” After-Sales Programme for Hilti ON!Track Asset Management SaaS | Northern Europe

  • Rotation 4:

    Finance – Credit & Collection Process | Saudi Arabia