Developments in various business sectors, super-specializations in qualifications, niche area experts catering to or rendering services to ordinary businesses or individuals, have all brought about this unique species called the ‘account executive', particularly in the advisory and consulting sectors of business. Here's what an account executive does and how to become an Account Executive.
An account executive is the catalyst, the vital link in the chain of events that occur in course of a transaction between the customer and in-house experts who actually deliver the goods or services. The job designation, account executive is very popular in the advertising industry, but applies equally well in any other agency or consultancy where assignment/job based work is done using creativity, specialized knowledge and where advisory services are provided.
You can choose the formal way to get into the position of an account executive or opt for the informal method.
The formal method would involve - seeking a basic degree in any discipline, though a degree in sciences would be more advantageous in executing the account executive role. Next, enroll in a Masters in Business Management (MBA) program from a reputed institution or university. The MBA degree can be in any discipline. During the MBA program, select to undertake internship roles in your choice of consulting firms and agencies. At the end of your MBA program, you could well be on your way to being an Account Executive through campus recruitments itself.
Now, the informal approach - this could be multifarious and the means may not be as important, but the goal of achieving the ultimate end of being an account executive is to be always borne in mind. You could start as a mailroom clerk or the copier guy in any of the leading consulting firms or advertising agencies and slowly work your way up the food chain, by assisting teams in their projects and so on. On a more serious note [and certainly not meaning to say that the previous method is ineffective], there may be other easier approaches here as well. Start with an internship program; however, in this case you may not be paid unlike the MBA student. Prove yourself well; work harder than rest of the interns and you certainly could land an account executive position within a short time.
No matter whether you take the formal or the informal approach, to be a successful account executive the following skills are paramount -
- Inter-personal skills - have a positive approach, be patient, possess a keenness to learn; adapt well to new teams and fellow workers; be focused on your task, be confident, and articulate. You should be able to network well, have the ability to take on challenges and live up to deadlines.
- Be a well-learned individual possessing good knowledge of your subjects, know your facts and certainly be good with general knowledge and current affairs.
- Have a great command over your language; ability to communicate in more languages will definitely be an asset. Also, learn to be a good communicator, able to convey ideas from your team and relay back client requirements well.
These are some of the basic ways to becoming an account executive. It is a great role and one that could be enriching in experience.