One of the main reasons why I decided on Škoda Auto University was the possibility for extensive internships, not only at Škoda Auto a.s. but also abroad with companies such as VW, Audi, Seat and Bentley.
My name is Jiří Halousek and I work as a sales manager at Bentley Prague (the only Bentley dealership in the Czech Republic ). I have been asked to describe my job position and how I got to do what I do.
I was a student of Škoda Auto University between 2005 and 2009. One of the main reasons why I decided on Škoda Auto University was the possibility for extensive internships, not only at Škoda Auto a.s. but also abroad with companies such as VW, Audi, Seat and Bentley. Due to my lack of German language skills, I was dreaming of being lucky enough to get an internship at Bentley Motors Ltd. At the time of my first application, the slots available from Bentley were very limited, only 1-2 people for 6 months and I was not successful on my first attempt. I did not want to lose this opportunity, so I applied again two years later and I was chosen for an experience which changed my life completely.
In January 2009 I started my internship at Bentley Motors Ltd. in Crewe UK, where the factory is located. Because I worked in the purchase department of Škoda Auto a.s. during my first internship, I was also placed in the purchase department at Bentley. Within this department I was part of the forward sourcing team which is responsible for dealing with suppliers for new Bentley projects. My responsibilities were getting back production documents from suppliers with their offers for required parts. To achieve my goals, I had to be in close cooperation with buyers and suppliers. Thanks to the everyday contact with my colleagues and the suppliers I managed to improve my language skills very quickly. The benefit which I value the most is that I learnt everything about the Bentley brand, which is the most prestigious brand of them all. I had the chance to see these beautiful and luxurious cars getting built and appreciate the craftsmanship which goes into each Bentley vehicle. When my internship was about to end, I received a call from my friend about Bentley Prague, which was looking for someone to be their Bentley manager. I thought it would be impossible for me to get this job because I did not have any experience with sales, but my knowledge of the brand and enthusiasm about the industry got me my dream job.
So, right after I came back from the UK in July 2009, I started my job as the sales manager of Bentley Prague. At the beginning I had to learn a lot about how to actually sell an expensive car. Knowledge about the product is in itself not enough. I had to learn how to evaluate and recognise my potential clients and how to approach them, which is never easy.
Now, I have been doing this job for five years and have sold about 90 Bentley cars. The calculated potential for the Czech market is now 20-25 cars a year, of which the majority is our gorgeous and iconic Bentley Continental GT. We also sold 3 Bentley Mulsannes in two years, what is considered a big success, considering the price of the vehicle.As a sales manager, I am not only responsible for selling cars, but also preparing the marketing and PR for our brand. In this task I can still rely on the knowledge I gained at Škoda Auto University.
At the end of my account I would like to point out that thanks to the Škoda Auto University and its internship programs real professionals are made (from the university I made a lot of friends who are very successful in their careers ). I would also like say that you should never give up, when at first there is disappointment, and you should not be afraid of any challenge.