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Joe Twinn

Joe Twinn
Joe Twinn (MBA 2005-08) has recently returned from working as a volunteer in East Timor. Together with his partner he spent time helping at a charity clinic in Dili and worked with a social worker from the clinic to establish a small business designed to provide a sustainable income for people with HIV/Aids and their families.

When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
It varied – from doctor to writer to anything else that sounded interesting at the time. I never thought it would involve importing printed packaging from China.

What was the best careers advice you were given?
Do what you're interested in – and I’ve always said that if I didn’t enjoy my job I would be doing something else.

Describe yourself in three words
Calm, cheerful and relaxed.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Implementing new things with people who have been doing the job for years.

What have you done that you are most proud of?
Worked with a charity clinic in East Timor to establish a business to provide an income for people with HIV/Aids and their families. My partner is a doctor and had the opportunity to spend a couple of months at a clinic in the country and I was able to accompany her as a volunteer at the EU Commission and helping with the project at the clinic. Neither of us had ever been to the country before and to be able to spend time there was an incredible opportunity – East Timor is a beautiful place but has had so many problems since 1976 when the Portuguese left, followed by the Indonesian occupation and the subsequent internal problems means that very few people get to visit and see what the place is like. Although it is a long way from being a tourist destination, I sincerely hope that they can rebuild the country and its infrastructure and become a country that people want to visit, rather than one they have heard of because of invasion, guerrilla warfare and rioting.

What drives you?
Variety – I hate to be bored and love to try new things, whether that is new places to visit or new things to read.

What single thing would most improve the quality of your life?

Something very warm and fuzzy – I do not have a long list of things that I would like to own and already have the love of a good woman, so I’d have to go for world peace. That or a 50 inch plasma TV.

What three objects would you take with you to a desert island?
A hammock, a subscription to a newspaper with a good crossword and a pen to complete it with.

Where do you hope to be in 10 years’ time?
Working with food in some way or other – I’d love to be importing food and trying to introduce more people to authentic Chinese food rather than the sickly sweet Anglicised stuff we tend to see.

How would you like to be remembered?
As a gentleman.

What are your favourite memories of your university years at Warwick?
I was a part-time non-resident, so it mostly involved late nights at the business school with the welcome sound of Domino’s Pizza arriving

Do you have any advice for new graduates and undergraduates?
Enjoy it – however hard it might seem at the time.

Anything else you would like to add?

The Bairo Pite clinic in Dili, East Timor is always in need of support and is in the process of changing from a first response medical facility to a community health approach as the needs of the local people change. People who want to help can find out more on their website but if you are non-medical and want to help somewhere, there are a lot of organisations, large and small, that will appreciate your help in whichever country you are able to help in.

More information about our time in East Timor can be found here and we will be publishing this blog as a book in the next few months, hopefully to inspire other people to go on their own great adventure. More information about East Timor and the redevelopment of the country can be found at, an organisation still campaigning against Indonesian injustices and East Timor’s self-determination.

Joe Twinn: the facts
Career Business Analyst for Macfarlane Packaging and now East Asian Imports Manager for same
Leamington Spa
Education BA Chinese Studies 1995-99, Durham University
MBA 2005-08, University of Warwick
Interests Food and travel – preferably combined.

Joe Twinn 1

Joe Twinn 2

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