Sky is the limit for high-flying students

Edinburgh Napier business students land top placements at US aviation giant

Date posted

9 March 2018


High-flying business students from Edinburgh Napier are championing a sales competition they won at the University after it helped land them dream jobs with a top global jet manufacturer.

Calum Hutchison, Murray Black and Niobe Derksen made it through several rounds of interviews and came out on top against tough competition to secure graduate roles with Kansas-based Textron Aviation.

This summer the boys will start their six-month stint at the company’s US headquarters before jetting off across Europe for the rest of the year, visiting bases in Paris, Dusseldorf and Zurich to complete their training. Niobe will be based in Wichita, Kansas, for six months, then Dusseldorf, Germany, for six months.

“I'm really excited to start the job, it's been a dream come true,” said Calum. “We had to put a lot of extra work in to meet deadlines for Textron, as well as competing in the sales competitions and all of the extra work that they entailed, as well of course as all of our fourth-year uni work on top of that!”

Murray added: “I honestly can't express in words how excited I am to start the sales and development programme with Textron. I had always envisioned two paths for myself prior to graduating from university – aviation or sales. This opportunity has allowed me to connect these two goals in a way I had not imagined possible, and has ultimately set me up with my dream job.”

Niobe said: "The job sounds incredible.  I can't wait to get started in July."

Calum, from Kinross, and Murray, from Edinburgh, are now keen to see fellow students follow in their footsteps and decided to help other Business School hopefuls prepare for the upcoming UK Universities Sales Competition on March 21 and 22 at Edinburgh Napier, as well as the European Sales Competition on May 30 and 31 which takes place in Paris.

After winning last year’s Textron Aviation/Edinburgh Napier sales competition, Calum and Murray went on to represent the University’s Business School at the National Sales Challenge in New Jersey.

On their return, they and their fellow students who took part were given the opportunity to apply for the Textron sales and development programme. Niobe landed her job with Textron after completing a series of assignments, an online application, a Skype interview, a personality test and a face-to-face interview. 


The students also took part in a sales workshop run by Edinburgh Napier’s Dr Barbara McCrory and Dr Tony Douglas, which they credit with helping them come out on top in the competition.

Calum said: “The workshop offered by Barbara and Tony is at the root of the great experience that the last six months has been. The New Jersey sales competition was one of the best weeks in my life and the sales advice given throughout the workshop was so valuable to enable Murray and I to do well over there.”

Murray added: “I strongly believe Edinburgh Napier University has formed the foundation for my success, as it has been conducive to building my confidence, determination and dedication.”

Niobe said: "Thank you Tony and Barbara for offering such a fantastic opportunity to  students."  

Dr Tony Douglas, Associate Professor – Strategy and Sales, said: “Well done Murray, Calum and Niobe – what a great year!”

Edinburgh Napier’s Centre for Sales & Business Development is aimed at providing opportunities for business students like Calum and Murray to learn and hone their professional selling skills.

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