Looking for a top training program to hatch your career?
Start with the Graduate Training Program – Sales Engineering (GTP) at Trane.
Alexandra Brunet is just one example of a GTP success story.
She’s a mechanical engineer who entered the program after graduating from Queen’s University in 2013.
“I was looking for a company that was going to invest in my success as a new grad,” Alexandra explains.
“I knew that the program would help me learn and grow over several months, and that that experience would help me be successful when I started my career.”
Today, Alexandra is a Sales Account Manager at Trane – and she’s thrilled to share how the GTP set her up for success.
Inside the GTP
Alexandra went into the program ready to get ahead.
“Everything you learn in the GTP is going to help you succeed in your role, so my #1 goal was to take as much as I could from the knowledge and training,” she says.
Her training took place in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where a number of the company’s production sites are located.
In addition to this great opportunity to learn about Trane’s operations first-hand, Alexandra’s time in the GTP put her in touch with more than 60 other trainees from the United States, South America and Europe.
“It was great to connect with those people and be in a new city,” she says, adding that this opportunity to engage with other GTP participants set her up with a professional network.
Learning in the classroom
The classroom portion of the Trane GTP is broken into three phases, designed to equip trainees with all the skills they’ll need for success in their role.
The first phase covers the fundamentals of HVAC technology, while the second focuses on Trane product knowledge – introducing trainees to the features and benefits of Trane’s diverse catalogue.
These phases last 8 weeks each. The third phase covers systems and sales training and lasts 4 weeks.
Interested in her role? Alexandra says these 3 traits are key to success:
1. People-oriented: “You have to enjoy dealing with people. Being able to develop trust and strong relationships with others is key.”
2. Positive: “As with any sales role, there are ups and downs and you need to be able to work through challenges with a positive attitude.”
3. Driven: “With this role comes a lot of freedom and opportunity. You need to be disciplined and self-motivated to find the best way to sell.”
Alexandra says that her experience doing engineering coursework prepared her for some of the GTP’s intensive classroom sessions. Of course, the Trane team helped too.
“I’ve never had so many dedicated instructors,” she says. “There are full-time instructors who are just there to teach trainees, along with all of your colleagues. Everyone is there to help you.”
That support is reflected in the unique structure of the Graduate Training Program, which equips participants with two mentors – one in the training program, and one in a Trane office.
“Your mentor in the training program makes sure that you’re getting everything you need and that you understand your work,” says Alexandra, “as well as helping you explore what you’d like to learn about in the future.”
The in-office mentor’s role is to review each new trainee’s progress in the GTP, and help them understand how it connects to the responsibilities they’ll fulfill.
“This helps keep you connected to the office you’re going to go work for,” explains Alexandra. “The more mentorship you have, the better.”
On the job training
After completing the classroom portion of the GTP, Alexandra spent six months with other new trainees in a Trane office.
They managed smaller accounts as a team, completing the different tasks they would eventually take on their own.
“In this role, you have many responsibilities, including designing projects, working with contractors and pricing equipment,” says Alexandra. “You also need to understand each product that is available in the portfolio you have so that you can close each job.”
“If you’re looking for a company that is ready to invest in you and your goals, the Trane Graduate Training Program is a great fit.”
Sales Account Manager, Ingersoll Rand/Trane
This hands-on learning helped her make connections between the classroom training and the career she was about to start.
“In the GTP, we were building the knowledge to work for actual clients on projects. Seeing every part of the process in real life helps you solidify that training,” Alexandra explains.
While gaining this work experience, she also took part in a number of activities in a GTP online forum, which tasks trainees with monthly assignments – and continued to benefit from the support of the team at Trane.
“As with every new job, there were challenges, but I found that I had many opportunities to ask questions,” she says.
“At Trane, everyone wants you to succeed.”
At work at Trane
Now that she’s at work full-time, Alexandra is thrilled to put her training to work as a Sales Account Manager, designing heating and cooling systems for commercial buildings.
“I love working with customers and building relationships,” Alexandra says. “You’re actually solving problems, so when people get in touch with you, that’s a sign of trust – and that’s rewarding.”
She has had many opportunities to appreciate the value of the Graduate Training Program.
“After completing the GTP, you know where the resources you need are,” Alexandra says. “You can’t know everything, but you can know where to get the information.”
As an employee at Trane, Alexandra can also take advantage of Ingersoll Rand University, which offers a range of educational courses on subjects like accounting, business, sales, relationship management and more – ensuring team members can continue to learn and grow on the job.
In the future, Alexandra plans to build on her educational background by obtaining her P.Eng certification.
“I look forward to building relationships with my accounts and becoming a go-to person for them,” Alexandra says, “as well as building my sales and accounts and growing as a Sales Account Manager.”
Her advice for a student or recent grad planning their career?
“If you’re looking for a company that is ready to invest in you and your goals, the Trane Graduate Training Program is a great fit,” she says.
“It’s one of the best in the industry – and people who join Ingersoll Rand stay here for their entire careers.”