15 September 2021
6 Months on the Unibuddy Sales Team

When applying for jobs, it’s easy to be numbed by the clichéd phrases of ‘fast-paced’ and ‘culture values’ that litter the countless job descriptions you’re likely to come across, and as such, it’s common to feel a disconnection from your application.

Having previously worked as a recruiter within the SaaS industry, I’m also aware that on occasions, these buzzwords can often be smokescreens that mask a dysfunctional work culture.

Not everyone can rely on a friend’s insight into a company before looking into a role there, and certainly not everyone will be fortunate enough to have that friend sat within the same team that they go on to apply for. But before I joined Unibuddy back in April 2021, I had a conversation with a Senior University Partnership Executive at the company. What I experienced was the very process we preach about every single day.

I’m hoping that with this blog post, I can provide the same level of insight that might help someone else decide on a career at Unibuddy. Having sold Unibuddy as a product, it’s awesome to sell it as a company now too.

Discovering Unibuddy

I was attracted to Unibuddy after seeing the product work with my own eyes, and genuinely believing in the mission that the team here is on. My brother used the platform when choosing his Masters course at the University of Iceland, and the company has proven time and time again that bringing peer-to-peer reviews into higher education enhances the quality of education received. 

Seeing how my brother was able to find everything he needed through chatting with existing students (from the better areas to live in to the worst bars to avoid!) really shined a light on how powerful Unibuddy’s product is. For me, as a salesperson, that was incredibly exciting. 

In addition to being able to see the product in action, I also got a taste of peer-to-peer reviewing myself. By knowing someone already in the company, more specifically on the sales team, I was able to gain huge insight into the team, the wider company, and their ambitions. 

I instantly felt more connected to the company, and more confident that I would be a good fit. Having a peer review to help you make a ‘big decision’ in life was invaluable to me. So if it helped me to find a job, it should definitely be a concept that helps young adults decide on the best university for them.

As I believed in the concept so strongly, joining Unibuddy was a no-brainer.

Onboarding during the pandemic

Unibuddy is on an incredibly exciting growth trajectory, and being a UPE means we have the opportunity to genuinely shape and contribute to this. The company encourages its employees to take their own initiatives, and this begins from week one. It isn’t a PR catchphrase to boost application numbers. 

Within my first fortnight at Unibuddy, I was building cadences, making calls, and allowed to develop my own sales methodologies. In sales, it can often be frustrating to feel that you are being held back, so it was refreshing to be given the tools but told to build my own house when it came to engaging with my regions. 

This was great for development and learning, as you are quickly able to find what does and doesn’t work for you/your regions. By being able to build my own techniques and test what was successful, it was easy to quickly build a rhythm and produce healthy sales opportunities to pass on to the next stages. All of this means that you’re set up and off to the races by the time your first month ends.

In the ROW Sales Team, UPEs are also paired directly with a University Partnership Manager (Account Executive); we do not use a round-robin system. This allows for a higher level of cohesion than other junior and senior sales teams and a more successful sales process. As a pairing, you get less interruption and your processes become much slicker, as you can easily learn each other’s methods and mould that into your sales funnel with ease. It has been great to fit so easily into a team, and so quickly see how your contributions get off the ground. 

Members of the sales team are also encouraged to run training sessions to the wider team, and share their best practices on a regular basis, creating a larger sense of cohesion. Knowing that you’re not in a sales team with an ‘every man for themselves’ mentality makes working as a UPE extremely warming. 

This ethos feeds back into the company, and despite Unibuddy now approaching 150 employees across four different continents, the feeling of community here is still incredibly strong.

Startup culture and opportunities

One of the many advantages of working in a start-up is that you are encouraged to take on additional responsibilities outside of your usual day-to-day. Over the last few months, I have taken part in external virtual events, helped host a couple of talks at our own summits, and been able to help out with a strategic partnership alongside my day-to-day responsibilities.

Opportunities like these are not always available at larger companies, so it is great to be able to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into more at Unibuddy than the job description says. Despite having been at the company a short while, I’ve had the chance to deliver talks to viewers across different continents and help grow the Unibuddy brand in more ways than straight business development. 

Unibuddy also provides other perks that are not found at other firms, such as a personal development budget and further health benefits too. They provide an incredibly generous personal L&D budget, which gives all salespeople the resources to develop themselves in any manner they would need. From language courses, to access to thousands of books, the company helps you grow in the ways you need. 

To return to the clichéd phrases associated with the job search, I can confidently say that with Unibuddy there have genuinely been no nasty surprises—this is something that the company truly deserves credit for. Having an ethos that lives up to its name is hard to find in the SaaS industry, especially in London.

At the six-month mark, I’m glad that I made the move, and I’m confident that it was the right decision. It has been great to join a company with a dynamic culture and to work in a job where the promises made at interviews turned out not to be red herrings. It’s rare to find an opportunity where promises are followed through on, and definitely helps Unibuddy stand out as a SaaS firm.

We’re always looking for new Buddies to join our team. Check out the open roles over on our careers page!

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