OC Peter Ward

Peter Ward shares his memories of Colston's and offers advice for a career in sales

I moved to Canada in 1993 after taking my degree at the University of the West of England, getting a BA (Hons) in Business Decision Analysis. Before my degree, I was travelling the world as a professional squash player, also representing England Juniors while at Colston's.

1. When were you at Colston’s and what did you study?
I started at the Prep school if my memory serves me correct, in September of 1979. I did 2 years there before moving to the Upper School in September of 1981. I left Colston's after my O Levels in July 1985 and went to Millfield school to do my A Levels. The subjects I studied were: Math, English, PE, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Latin and French. I think.

2. Who were your favourite teachers at Colston’s?
This is a tough one as I had many great teachers. Martin Tayler, Andy Palmer, Trevor Porter, and my House Master was Dr Thresher.

3. What are your fondest memories of your time at Colston’s?
Representing the School at all the different sports, Squash, Fives, Tennis, Rugby, Cricket, Hockey, and travelling to the other schools to play. Also, I remember vividly when Princess Diana came by helicopter and landed on the cricket pitch. Great memories.

4. How did you choose your career and what is favourite part of your job?
I moved to Canada to be a Professional Squash Coach/Player in 1993, and continued that until I ruptured my Achilles tendon in May 2001. I then went into the real world as a sales rep. honestly, it was the first job I was offered, so I took it. I stayed in that industry, with a few companies, moving up the Corporate ladder until I was running a Division of Karcher, called Windsor. I left that role 2 years ago when they decided to close the Division and rebrand. I am now the National Sales Manager for a company called Crown Brands, which is one of the largest foodservice/restaurant providers in North America. The fun part is I am able to travel to all parts of Canada with work, and to a number of great places in the USA - Phoenix, San Diego, Chicago, Orlando, to name a few.

5. Do you have any advice for alumni considering a career in sales?
Think of Sales as acting as a Consultant. You want your customers to think of you when they need something, so you are the first person they call. Build on those relationships and the sales will come. Selling is not easy, and not for everyone, bit if you enjoy meeting new people, and are honest with yourself and your customers, then Sales can be a rewarding career