Name & Professional Registration
Katie Davage AMIMarEST
IMarEST Membership Status (Student, Affiliate, Associate, Member or Fellow?)
Associate Member (AMIMarEST)
Role and organisation
Sales Manager at Chelsea Technologies Group
Which organisations have you worked for previously?
Scientifica, a niche microscopy company.
Describe a typical workday
I start the day by reading through my emails on my way to work, and prioritising in order of urgency. The products that I look after span the maritime, marine science and environment markets so I spend the next couple of hours dealing with a wide range of customer enquiries, sending out quotes and answering technical questions; the latter often requires liaising with our R&D team.
One key area of focus for me is promoting Chelsea’s FastOcean FRR fluorometers for in situ and in vitro estimation of gross primary productivity. I’m also responsible for the promotion of our range of Lux multi-wavelength fluorometers for the monitoring of Chlorophyll, Phycoerythrin, Phycocyanin & turbidity. Since joining Chelsea the Lux range has expanded and I’ve spearheaded the redesign of the new brochures and associated marketing material.
As well as working on product sales, I’m also a project manager. Since March 2014 we have been under contract with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to develop a sensor to assess the compliance of treated ballast water with regards to the USCG discharge standards. I spend some time each day liaising with the electronics team and design office to ensure we remain on schedule.
In the afternoon, I normally speak to our American agent (when she starts her day!) and give advice on technical queries or pricing. We have agents in over 35 countries and quite a bit of my time is taken up servicing their requirements. I also work on longer proposals which can take several days to complete, tender submissions often have a long list of requirements to respond to!
Towards the end of the day I put together trips/conference plans and confirm dates and times for customer meetings. This involves gathering together tickets, maps, brochures, demo equipment, and technical information.
Describe your academic/training history and how you got to where you are today.
University of Sussex - Bachelor of Science (BSc), Environmental Science, 2.1
The Sixth Form College Colchester - A Levels - Chemistry (A), Mathematics (B), Business Studies (B)
What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
I think it's useful to have a science degree as you need to understand the products you're selling. Experience in a customer-facing role is also helpful for a job like this as the majority of your time is spent managing customers.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I really enjoy the fact that I am able to influence things such as where we invest our marketing budget, develop our new corporate image and also new product development. Involvement in all parts of the business is definitely one of the main advantages of working for a SME business.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
Probably managing my time across sales, marketing and project planning!
Describe a typical career path to your current role. How does this differ to your career path?
In my experience, someone starting out in scientific/technical sales usually has a science degree and work experience in a customer facing role. I have an Environmental Science degree and I had several years’ experience working as a marketing assistant for Sussex Business and Enterprise, a department based within my University, who are focused on educating students on what careers they could move into once they complete their studies.
How has being a member of the IMarEST helped you in your career?
I became a member so that I could continue to learn and keep up to date with marine science and news. Mebership is very helpful. The Marine Professional in particular keeps me up to date with news in our key markets. I’m also a member of the IMarEST Ballast Water Expert Group (BWEG), which focuses on issues concerning ballast water management. Being part of this group has increased my knowledge in what is one of Chelsea’s key market areas. Recently, I also had the opportunity to participate in and speak at the IMarEST 4th Ballast Water Technology conference, which has increased my confidence as a public speaker.
Which professional journals and organisations help you keep up to date with industry news?
I receive lots of magazines and journals as our business spans a number of sectors. As I’m always short on time, it’s really useful for me in particular that The Marine Professional summarises the news from marine, environmental and maritime industries. I usually read it on the way to and from work.
Give us an interesting fact about you!
I make great welsh cakes!