TLJ Journeys – Apprentice to Account Manager

TLJ Journeys spotlights the rise of talented individuals in the logistics sector in their own words.

Jamie Abbott joined Morrison Freight as an apprentice and is now an account manager. Here Jamie explains how his skillset has been enhanced, why he loves coming to work and why other young people should consider an apprenticeship as a great route into their chosen career.

I joined Morrison Freight six years ago as part of an apprenticeship scheme. To be honest, I didn’t know very much about the industry, but I was enthusiastic and keen to learn and actually finished my qualification ahead of schedule.

During my first six months, I worked within our import division starting from the bottom and learning the ropes before moving to our export division where I’ve remained ever since. In fact now, at the age of 25, I jointly manage it.

I’m directly responsible for the growth, profitability and budgets and am a key account manager for several customers from the retail, construction and manufacturing sectors.

I’m also responsible in organising monthly UK client visits for both myself and my team, implementing new processes and procedures and, more recently, have been invited to sit in on quarterly company meetings. One country I’m solely responsible for is Switzerland and, in light of this, I was part of the key personal team for our successful AEO application.

To say I am proud of all I have achieved in the last 12 months would be a huge understatement.

I’ve grown in confidence; my communication skills have grown, and my industry knowledge has accelerated thanks to the mentoring and support I receive in the workplace.

I have also been shortlisted in the Young Freight Forwarder of the Year category at the BIFA Freight Service Awards, which is a massive career highlight for me.

I’ve now been at Morrison Freight for six years. It has been a big learning curve, but one that has always been interesting and enjoyable. And what’s more, I am continuing to learn. In 2018 I successfully completed an NVQ in Business Management, which has enabled me to further develop in my role as an account manager.

I’m also focused on my own goals which include growth in sales and profits connected with my department. Just a year ago I was responsible for clients who collectively exported 1,250 tons of products per week. By building stronger relationships this has grown to more than 2,300 tons per week. I’ve also helped open new markets for some of our customers as well as offering different transport solutions and my personal sales revenue has increased by around 38 per cent.

So, what would I say to a school leaver considering their options right now? Think outside the box.

University isn’t for everyone. There are so many careers to explore which involve earning while you learn and getting hands-on from day one. This has been one of them. It’s not a job I expected to have but it’s one I really enjoy.

And to be honest, you spend a third of your lifetime working. It should be doing something you love.