1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
In client services our day to day includes communicating with clients via email, telephones and in person. These tasks include anything from catalogue requests, to account queries, to placing bids. We also re-direct the estimation requests that are sent in to us via our website to the appropriate specialists.
We engage a lot with other departments such as Post-Sale, Bids, and a vast array of specialist departments worldwide. We tend to always be interacting and problem solving somehow, in order to provide clients with the best experience possible.
Responsibilities can vary dependant on your level of training, and the rota for that week - it may be that you are in the office handling mostly emails and calls, or instead at front of house advising clients face to face.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have learnt a lot about the auction process and company itself. This has been gained through the encouragement to shadow other departments within the company to see how they operate and consequently network with these colleagues.
We have access to the learning gallery where we are also able to sign up for additional courses, such as the 'life of a lot' which was a tour of what happens when an item enters Christie's for sale, as well as an 'Auctioneer Experience Day', where I was able to learn about the art of auctioneering and be an auctioneer in a mock sale.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
My team is very friendly and are always at hand to help you with anything you're not sure about. They are all individuals who enjoy communicating as this is the typical trait of client services. However, there aren't many opportunities arranged to socialise out of work hours which made it a little more difficult to get to know one another and therefore feel more comfortable in the working day. On the whole though, I really enjoy my role.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
There is clear structure within the programme, especially from the aspect of the apprenticeship itself. Whitehat provides you with Masterclasses, coaching sessions, catch-ups, and progress reviews with your line manager. This means that what is expected is very clear and there is plenty of support should you require it.
You are expected to review rota's and bare in mind sales yourself when organising time for your apprenticeship work. This may be slightly more difficult to find the balance to begin with as you learn more about your role and how the company operates.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have catch ups with my line manager every 2 weeks where we can touch base with how I am and raise any queries between us then. I have never really contacted HR besides for when the mentorship scheme was set up, but I understand from others that they are always at hand.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
My apprenticeship coach is always at hand and they are very relaxed with their communication approach. This means that you feel very comfortable to ask any questions and they are incredibly positive and supportive with your work.
They often encourage and advise on extra things that you could do to increase your personal development too, which helps you continue to build your knowledge and skills.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
My qualification works well alongside my job role and is very applicable to the business. I am also required to have interviews with colleagues from certain areas from the company in order to complete my assignments, which increases my professional visibility. Subsequently, I am also more informed and conscious of the company's process when going about my day to day.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
We have a Christmas party every year, as well as evening events throughout the year such as 'lates' which have an array of interesting exhibitions usually. There are also charitable opportunities you can take a part in such as quizzes.
However, there aren't many social events/classes that I have been aware of.
9a. Would you recommend Christie's to a friend?
Christie's is an incredibly interesting company, that gives you exposure to a huge array of beautiful items. You also have the opportunity to communicate and meet experts from around the world as they are an internationally based company. In Client Services, you are given in-depth training so are bound to learn a huge amount.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Christie's?
I would advise to be confident, enthusiastic, and informed when applying to Christie's. Even if you don't know much about art itself, by showing that you have an interest to learn it will go a long way. Be sure to know the Christie's core values so that you can apply that to your interviews.
The assessment day seemed as if it was going to be intense, but make sure you enjoy it and enjoy the networking aspect.