From KPMG Graduate Consultant To Sales Career At Aussie Startup

How University of Sydney graduate, Harry Oates, found his dream sales industry 12 months into being a graduate consultant.

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Uni Grad?
Prior Sales Experience?
Professional Background
I had geared all of my studies to break into finance and consulting. When I found out it wasn’t for me, I was confused on where to head next.
A professional headshot of Harry Oates
Harry Oates
BDR @ Shippit
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The Challenge

In 2020, Harry started his university degree in economics at the University of Sydney.

Alongside university, Harry picked up relevant industry experience with internships at KPMG, Macquarie Group and Challenger Limited.

After graduating from university in 2023, he accepted a graduate consultant position at KPMG.

He had come to enjoy the client-facing aspect of his role rather than the project-based work. Additionally, he started to feel drained by the corporate red-tape and the feeling of being a cog in the KPMG machine.

Harry also found that despite the long and hard hours, his work wasn’t sufficiently rewarded and started to doubt the long-term prospects of the corporate world.

With this in mind, Harry’s attention turned to sales, but finding the ideal pathway into a sales industry that could match his ambition and his consultative experience was something he struggled to do on his own.

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The Solution

After researching a few industries, Harry discovered  the business-to-business software through an old school friend.

In particular, what piqued his interest was the alignment between the quality of work being done and how that’s accurately rewarded with a commission plus base compensation structure, flexible working arrangements and the relatively quick career progression that’s found in the software sales industry.

Here’s more context.

In Australia, entry level software sales roles earn an average of $95k per year*.

Within 4-5 years of starting in software sales, you could be selling to 1000+ employee companies and have a total package north of $250k+ per year.

But why are packages in software sales so high?

It all comes down to what you’re selling - business-to-business software tools (ie: UberEats).

The increased adoption of software in recent years has seen employee count in the software industry grow twice as much as any other industry in Australia during the last decade (Tech Council of Australia, 2023).

Sales is the second most in-demand role for software companies (behind engineers) as reps are responsible for finding new business customers to adopt their tools.

Yet, there’s a distinct skill shortage as many job seekers think they require a technical background or previous sales experience to get started - which simply isn’t true.

Here’s a clip from one of our free live workshops explaining career progression in software sales👇

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The Results

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Harry joined us as a fellow in our August 2023 cohort of the Earlywork Academy.

He progressed through the three weeks of live workshops and decided that he wanted to proceed with software sales roles.

To conclude his job search, Harry was tossing up between multiple offers and decided to join the rapidly expanding shipping logistics software giant, Shippit.

Where to from here?

Unsure if software sales is for you?

Continue your learning journey with Earlywork by attending one of our free live workshops run for 30 minutes and we’ll help you learn if software sales is the right career for you.

Fellow Admissions Manager, Ben Horwitz, will take you through all things job security, career progression and compensation.

Hosted every Monday from 5:30pm - 6pm (AEST).

Save your spot <

NOTE: Also check out our Wall of Love to see 100+ other graduate stories from our school, such as Harry.

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