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BAT Australia

  • 50,000 - 100,000 employees

James Sinclair

BATA is one of the largest FMCG companies operating in Australia and faces some of the strictest marketing regulations in the world

Tell us a bit about yourself!

Born and raised in Sydney, I grew up with a love for sports and creative writing. Nowadays, even though I’m more likely to be watching rugby than on the field; or reading a book rather than scribbling in a notepad, these passions shaped my ambition, competitiveness, and ability to think outside the box. I graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies), majoring in Philosophy, Marketing and International Business. My love for writing and creative thinking helped me land a number of internships in advertising agencies, where I got to work with some of the brightest creatives and strategists in Australia. Now working at BAT Australia (BATA) as an Account Executive, I’ve taken my passions and skillsets and apply them daily to help deliver commercial goals and support the wider business.

What is the coolest thing about your job?

BATA is one of the largest FMCG companies operating in Australia and faces some of the strictest marketing regulations in the world. This has forced us to evolve our business strategy in every aspect – thinking outside the box to overcome unique marketing challenges that really don’t exist anywhere else in the world. Being able to help meet commercial targets whilst navigating such a challenging marketing environment is what makes me love this company so much.

What do you do day-to-day?

I started my journey at BATA as a Trade Marketing Representative, where on any given day I’d travel to retailers on the beautiful Central Coast of NSW to provide in store-support, product and brand knowledge, and drive our wider commercial strategies. 18 months, and two role changes later, I’ve now moved into an Account Executive position in the Specialist channel. Currently, my day-to-day involves meeting with cross-functional teams and my accounts to ensure we are working with our retailers to drive mutually beneficial commercial outcomes. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Coming from a background with a limited analytical skillset, the last 12 months in the trade team has been a whirlwind learning and development commercial experience. With each role change, I’ve taken on more responsibility, which has allowed me to develop both personally and professionally. Over the next 5 years, I want to continue on this trajectory within the Trade team, exploring different marketing channels and building on my commercial acumen.

What sort of person succeeds in your career?

I think the three key characteristics that will set someone up for success in this industry are resilience, accountability, and not being afraid to make mistakes, so long as you learn from them. In such a fast-moving, dynamic company, you’re given a lot of autonomy and responsibility from the get-go, so taking ownership and learning from mistakes is essential!

Any advice for students?

The single best piece of advice I was ever given is to say yes more often. Whether that be a professional, personal or extracurricular opportunity, you grow so much as a person and learn what you want out of life when you take those risks and throw yourself into the deep end – it’s absolutely the best place to learn!