Nathanial Rosney joined Tradeshift in November 2021 as one of the very first intakes of graduates on Tradeshift’s sales apprenticeship program. Nathanial recently became the first Tradeshifter to graduate from the program, earning a distinction grade. We spoke to Nathanial to understand more about his experience and what’s next for him.
I was born in Colombia but spent most of my childhood in France, where I went to school. I moved over to the UK to study Maths at Southampton University and then went to London after graduating. I spent the first few months working in bars while applying for a mix of sales and consulting jobs.
A friend who was already working as an SDR at Tradeshift let me know about an opening for a similar position. It seemed like just the sort of thing I was looking for. I met Adam (Adam Chapman-Ballard, Director of Global Demand Generation at Tradeshift), and he talked to me about the sales apprenticeship that Tradeshift had developed for graduates like myself who were looking to build a career in sales.
The apprenticeship program runs in partnership with Pareto, a specialist provider of training apprenticeship programs geared towards sales. I joined an assessment day Pareto was running with a number of other graduates. Based on my performance that day, I was able to secure a position on the apprenticeship program with Tradeshift, working as an SDR based out of Tradeshift’s London office in Soho.
Tradeshift’s sales apprenticeship is a government-recognized program. It offers a 12-month course of training and coaching covering sales techniques and skills development. The course is designed to dovetail with the ‘on-the-job’ induction and training programs that Tradeshift has developed in-house for SDRs.
It’s fairly intense, involving around 300 hours of training running alongside my induction at Tradeshift. It was a mixture of sales–focused skills building, softer skills training, as well as industry-specific training so that I could feel comfortable talking on a level with CFOs and CPOs.
Adam, who leads our team, had vetted the entire course, so he knew exactly what it would entail for us. He was great at helping us manage our coursework alongside our day job. I also had a dedicated skills coach, Waqar Khan, whom I could approach with questions. Waqar spent a number of years working in sales within Vodafone, so it was really useful to have a different perspective on issues or challenges I came across in the sales process.
For someone coming straight from university, it’s a great transition into the working world. In sales, you’re often chucked in at the deep end, so having that structure of continuous development and coaching really sets you up for success.
Everyone who comes to Tradeshift as an SDR goes through the same program, and that creates real cohesion among the team. We’ve all been through the same experience, we can help each other out, and, importantly, there’s a level of consistency in our approach that prospects appreciate. When you combine this with the excellent support we receive at Tradeshift, it really sets us apart.
As much as I got a lot of value from the training with Pareto, it was clear that we were a few steps ahead of graduates in a similar position within other companies. I put a lot of that down to the way we’re treated at Tradeshift. The exposure we get early on and the trust that colleagues place in us are one of the things I love the most about Tradeshift.
I got promoted to Lead SDR in November 2022, almost a year to the day since joining Tradeshift. The next step is Senior SDR. I recently had a career development call with my manager and our HR team to help plot out my career path over the next 12-24 months and beyond. For someone like me who is ambitious, having that structured career path is really valuable.