Blog: Prepare to be challenged but celebrate your successes

Blog: Prepare to be challenged but celebrate your successes

  • Posted on May 10 2023

By James Crisp, Graduate Sales Engineer, Whitecroft Lighting


What is an LED? What is circular design philosophy? What is the true meaning of sustainability? Perhaps questions (like me) you have asked yourself. Since joining Whitecroft I’ve learned the answer to all these questions – and much more.


I am James, a Graduate Sales Engineer from Whitecroft. I’m currently on a Level 4 Sales Executive Apprenticeship learning about all the details of building relationships and working within a B2B sales role.


I’ve just finished seven months of in-house training at Whitecroft’s head office in Manchester, which has prepared me to go out into the field and give the best account of Whitecroft and myself within the project lighting industry.


Whilst in Manchester, my fellow graduates and I have been training with all Whitecroft’s internal departments to gain a better understanding of the lighting industry, Whitecroft’s products, and their core sectors. From marketing and manufacturing, quotations, customer service and lighting design; Whitecroft have provided the best learning experience imaginable for their Sales Graduates.


One of my favourite aspects of my time in Manchester was the encouragement to take on meaningful projects that span the whole business and touch every department. I took these opportunities to network and build internal relationships with as many people as I could, whilst also learning from the wealth of knowledge and experience here at Whitecroft.


I had the opportunity to do a meaningful research and present my findings on customer engagement with the marketing team, as well as several presentations to directors to showcase what I had learned about the things driving Whitecroft to be such an industry leader – sustainability, quality and reliability, to name just a few.


I also had the opportunity to do some work on the internal aspects of a few projects for some of our clients. This really pushed me outside of my comfort zone and taught me a lot about myself, specifically around how I approach tasks, manage my time and remain resilient. Whilst working on these projects, I had contact with live clients in a similar capacity to that which I will have once I am in my job role. In addition to this, I was given the freedom to use my initiative and make meaningful decisions about the projects. I really enjoyed this, as it was a sign that I have made great progress with my learning, and it provided a great confidence boost. These were tremendously valuable opportunities and reminded me of why I wanted to go into this role in the first place.


Now that I am coming to the end of my internal training, I’ve had a chance to reflect on my progress over the past seven months and look at how far I’ve come. In addition to my thoughts below, the main thing that I would tell the James of seven months ago (or any prospective graduate on the program) is: prepare to be challenged but celebrate your successes.


It was a big step moving from the relaxed, slower paced life of Somerset to a dynamic fast paced city like Manchester, but I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and have not looked back since. I’ve been given the chance to meet new people, see new parts of the UK and live with more independence, which are just some of the perks that the Sales Graduate Program offer.


To anyone wondering about or second guessing applying for a graduate role at Whitecroft, I would say that it is a very involved and rewarding program. Relocating for seven months can seem daunting at first, but there are really good people here who will make you feel welcome and support the transition.


Something that I wish I had known on my first day of work is how friendly and welcoming the people here are. Everybody welcomes questions and takes an active role in your learning and development. After all, if you’re better equipped to perform in your role, the easier it will make everyone else’s! I have had a few down moments since I started here, but I always knew that I had people around me at work to support me and give me some perspective on situations.


One thing that surprised me about Whitecroft is how long most of the team have been here. During my first few weeks of introductions, it was hard to find anyone who had been here for less than ten years. In fact, when I come to think about it, it isn’t uncommon to meet people who have been here for more than 20 years. This is a testament to the way that Whitecroft treat their team and encourage them to progress and reach their full potential.


Looking to the year ahead now, I am eager to get out into the field and put my learning to good use. I did Computing at University, so I am interested to see how I will combine my technical knowledge and background with the more personable relationship building skills that I have developed throughout my time in Manchester.


"I’m James Crisp, a Graduate Sales Engineer at Whitecroft Lighting covering the South West region. I support clients with their lighting projects in the Commercial, Education, Healthcare and Industrial sectors."

Get in touch with James at

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