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Old Boy's Sales Career with Arsenal

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Pupils in Year 9 were excited to hear from Old Boy Graham Bramwell (Class of 2006), who is now the Venue Sales Manager at Arsenal Football Club. In his Zoom talk about his career, he shared his path from A Levels to his present day role in sales.

After leaving Bolton School, Graham studied Marketing at Aston University and, as part of his course, enjoyed a placement year at L’Oreal. He said that this was a fantastic experience, as it gave him a foothold in the wider world beyond his studies, a glimpse of what it’s like to live in London, and the confidence that this was something he wanted to do. He encouraged the boys to take every opportunity to gain active experience while at university or even before.

After graduating, Graham worked in recruitment and had a short career with Groupon before getting a job at Arsenal Football Club, where he has been for the past eight years. He spoke about how the proactive approach to these roles earlier in his career helped him to develop good habits for working in sales later. He also reminded the boys that their first role isn’t necessarily the endgame, but that it helps to build the foundation and confidence that will carry them forwards later.

Graham talked about how he landed his role with Arsenal, through networks he established two years before by putting himself out there even though, at the time, he was turned down. He also spoke about his current role, managing a team of five who are responsible for selling out the venue, and shared a video showcasing the services on offer with season tickets and hospitality.

The boys asked a host of interested questions about Graham’s job. They wanted to know what it is really like to live in London, and also whether he would ever work for his own team, Preston. He talked about how the current pandemic has affected his job and the difficulties they have faced, but also about the ‘glimmers of hope along the way’. Graham answered the boys’ questions comparing Champions League tickets to Europa League tickets, and about what affects ticket pricing at Arsenal. He was also able to reveal some of the perks that come with working for a football club, from being able to watch every single Arsenal fixture to playing on the pitch to passing players in the corridors, though he stressed that he has to stay professional when that happens! He also spoke about his favourite part of the job, when a sale goes through, and the privilege of doing something he loves.

Finally, he said that the number one thing that Bolton School taught him was that hard work pays off, and the inherent work ethic instilled in him at a young age has been a boon in his career. He also stressed the importance of extra-curricular experiences, particularly activities at Patterdale Hall, and said that these skills were gradually developed throughout his school life.

Graham’s talk was peppered with hints and tips, offering great advice to those who might go into sales in the future, and provided a window into the world of sales for all the boys watching.

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