Claxton Uncovered: Fast Stream to Business Success with Sapphire Withers

Posted by Sapphire Withers on 25-Mar-2019 09:00:00

Claxton Uncovered is a blog format featuring behind-the-scenes information from staff members throughout the organisation.




Sapphire Withers joined Claxton as Business Analyst in November 2018, after graduating with a First-Class BA (Hons) in International Business Management. In this blog we take a look at the experience of a new graduate entering the workplace and get a take on their perspective four months into the role.


Having studied A Level Business Studies at Sixth Form, Sapphire realised that this subject was of interest to her and the degree course offered a very broad spectrum of study. It also provided her with the opportunity to complete a semester abroad which she undertook in Spain at the University of Malaga studying Economics. Within the course, Sapphire wrote pieces on strategic management (for which she chose the oil industry as a theme) and undertook an in-depth study of a major oil company.

With a gap year upon graduating, Sapphire undertook travels which took her around the globe, notably to Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Singapore. In Australia, Sapphire worked for the iconic denim brand Levi, amongst other temporary roles across various industries including investment and engineering, to fund her travels and add to the learning experience.

On completing her travels and returning to Norfolk, Sapphire set about determining her career path as a Business Analyst. 


“I have always been interested in travel and different cultures, so the appeal of working for an international organisation was exciting. Claxton have a strong presence and reputation in this region so when the role was advertised it certainly interested me.”

Claxton is committed to providing its people with clear and effective pathways for individual development, with support for further education and wider scope for Acteon Group-wide career opportunities. Benefits such as private medical insurance, purchase holiday schemes and flexible working support, have proven attractive and desirable incentives for applicants.

On commencing work with Claxton, Sapphire was inducted through Claxton’s extensive onboarding experience. This is one of the first steps for staff to absorb the fundamentals of the brand and thereafter continually align thinking, work and behaviours with an ongoing contribution to the values of the staff and company.

“I enjoyed meeting people across the company and gaining insight into their respective job roles and learning further how Claxton operates as a business. I met with all the technical authorities and product leaders to learn about each specialist area and obtained an understanding of the plans for future developments.”

Staff at Claxton are paired with a line-manager and mentor. Sapphire reports to Vice President – Sales and International, Nick Marriott, with his extensive experience spanning over 40 years in many regions around the globe – particularly Middle East, Africa and South America, etc. Sapphire is mentored by Ann Vicens, a respected specialist product leader and engineer with a long and diverse career history in the oil industry, and very much representative of a successful woman contributing to a cultural change in the workplace.

“With Nick and Ann mentoring and guiding me, it’s a valuable opportunity to learn from all this expertise. It’s always very inspiring to see women in leadership positions within a typically male-dominated industry and uniquely with a female MD as notable as Laura Claxton (a former ‘Woman of the Year’ nominee), it’s both inspirational and motivating.”

“As with Nick, he’s had experience in senior positions around the globe and it’s amazing listening to his career history spanning over 40 years and learning from his experience in a number of countries he has worked in. I’m very lucky to have such people to guide me so early in my career.”

When asked if Sapphire feels confident that this is the first real job on the steps of her career ladder, she is clear that Claxton offers plenty of opportunity for both personal and career growth.

“I particularly like Claxton’s focus on continuous professional development and likewise the scope for variety and opportunities - especially with the acquisitions through Acteon group and growth of its portfolio.”


‘Sapphire is currently challenged with understanding and analysing the market, gathering data to grow Claxton product lines, and reporting on potential sales opportunities.

“Everybody has been so helpful, from all levels of the business – I am currently situated in the Marketing Department and have close contact with my colleagues within the Sales team. They have been very welcoming and helping me to learn and develop as a newcomer.”

In January 2019, Sapphire was challenged to write the first blog of the year which she wrote on the Global markets, with a focus on Mexico, ‘What does 2018 tell us about the future of drilling and exploration?”


Sapphire is currently involved in several key projects from helping to develop the CRM initiative within Claxton, to being tasked with gathering data for the senior management team to support our wider business strategy and objectives.

“The unpredictability of the oil industry can be a challenge for someone in my role, but this makes it interesting and fast-paced. There are constantly new developments that I need to be aware of and learn to keep me on my toes. This is an exciting role for me, and I look forward to the challenge ahead”.

Sapphire Withers, Business Analyst, Claxton


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