Rachel Oates is our Commercial Director and has been with HVPD for more than 10 years. In that time, she has taken on a diverse range of responsibilities – and still does – and had a big hand in shaping the global market-leading company that HVPD is today. We managed to grab 10 minutes out of her hectic schedule to catch up…
When did you join HVPD?
What does your role involve at HVPD?
Directing everything non-Technical in a nutshell! The Commercial & Operations Teams (Sales, Marketing, HR & Finance). I am responsible for commercial strategy and supporting our remote Sales Managers amongst many other things.
What is one of your memorable moments working for HVPD?
Probably meeting The Queen and representing the company at Buckingham Palace when we won our Two Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2014. We recently won a third award this year (2019). A very proud and memorable moment.
What do you like most about working for HVPD?
Too many things to list….diversity of my work; one day I can be leading the sales team on a multi-million pound tender the next I can be sitting in our Charity Team meeting thinking of creative ways we can raise money! I enjoy explaining to people (when they ask what I do for a job) the types of blue-chip companies we supply to in order to keep their assets and people safe. I relish in the opportunities I have to shape the success of the company in seeking out opportunities for the business and making them happen. Of course I like the responsibility that comes with being a Director of a Limited Company and more recently being made President of our newest subsidiary, HVPD Inc. My most enjoyable days are carrying out staff reviews, recognising the efforts of my team and helping them to grow their careers. I know it sounds cheesy but we have such a lovely culture here at HVPD, we support one another and enjoy working together. Then I have to also mention travel; my job has seen me go to places like Kazakhstan, USA, Australia, the UAE and Europe.
What led you to a career in sales and marketing?
When I left higher education I started a degree in Property Management & Investment at the University of Salford and although I was on track for a first class honours degree, I realised that town planning was just not for me! I decided to cut my teeth in the big bad world and worked at an insurance company working my way up by learning skills in Customer Service Management, Marketing, PR & Account Management. I have also worked overseas in a Marketing position. I have always had a thirst for knowledge and I always push myself to learn more. I have experience in contract law and of course sales so the role available at a young company such as HVPD was ideal for me to grow with. And of course my time at University was not in vain, I negotiate the leases, rent reviews and licences for our global offices at HVPD!
What’s the most unusual thing in your desk drawer?
My first work diary from 10 years ago. It is interesting to look back on it from time to time and see what I was working on then compared to now. My first boss here liked his coffee strong with one sugar – Chapter 1, page 1 of my time at HVPD!
What do you like to do outside of work?
The usual eating out, seeing friends, being an Aunty to my two beautiful nieces and am also partial to interior design and helping people plan parties. But I am also a bit of an adrenaline junkie; over the years I have participated in car rallying (I drove a Peugeot 206 Cup Car), I enjoy go-karting, jet-skiing, horse riding but my most ambitious achievement was sky-diving from 15,000ft to raise money for HVPD’s Charity of the Year in 2016, The Ronald McDonald House. I still have to tick off zip-lining, watching an F1 race and bungee jumping so watch this space!
What advice would you give to people seeking a job at HVPD and/or in sales?
Research what we do and show passion for what we do! Attitude not aptitude counts to me when I am interviewing and evaluating if somebody will fit into the team. If you have the right attitude; hard working, dedication, a thirst for knowledge, a willingness to do tasks that aren’t necessarily in your job description, are a team player and want to grow with the company then we can teach the rest and you will go far!