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Quickfire Questions with alum Adrian Richards

Adrian Richards (BA Politics and International Studies, 2018) always knew Warwick was where he was meant to study, and it's taken him on a career path that's as global and diverse as his time on campus.

Tell us about yourself

I'm Adrian, a Warwick alum - Class of 2018. Whilst at Warwick, I studied BA (Hons) Politics and International Studies and was fortunate to be a Warwick and Lloyds Banking Group Scholar. Since graduating, I started my career at Goldman Sachs on their Analyst programme before moving across to my current employer Amazon based in Manchester, UK.

At Amazon, I am a Senior Brand Specialist owning the relationships with key household names in the FMCG industry across Europe. A typical day for me involves curating and driving the success of a tailored growth strategy to help promote brands and products on Amazon, enabling them to reach new and existing customers. I collaborate with a wide range of stakeholders within supply-chain management, finance and marketing to consult brands and ultimately share recommendations to boost a brands sales performance.


Why did you choose to study at Warwick?

From around the age of 13, I remember seeing a copy of University of Warwick prospectus and being convinced that one day I'd go on to study at Warwick! Despite that being a long time before picking my GCSE's and A Levels, Warwick was always on my radar and once I finally got to a more appropriate age to start actively researching universities, Warwick maintained the top spot. For me, it was the idea of going to a campus university that drew me when I eventually attended the first Open Day (I went to a couple afterwards just to be sure!). Having grown up in London, I wanted a change from living in a city and to have a distinct student experience that I wouldn't get elsewhere. For my course Politics, Warwick had (and still has) an excellent reputation for research-led teaching that allowed me to focus my studies on my interests in political theory and explore topics such as class, race, and gender. Warwick had a very diverse student body and vibrant community which led me to meet the most incredible friends from across the world who still form a strong part of my life to this day. Ultimately, Warwick ticked all the boxes from a personal and academic perspective that was unmatched to other universities I considered.


How did you find the undergraduate study experience?

Surprisingly I found studying for my undergraduate a lot more manageable than previous years of education despite my initial fear about the step up from A Levels. That was driven primarily by the fact I was able to focus on one subject as opposed to revising for three, four or more during school years.

From a course perspective I had the freedom to tailor my studies to areas of interests both within and outside my department and, from a location perspective I had the choice in where and when I wanted to study. Floor 5 of the Library was my favourite spot but I also enjoyed a group study session in Ramphal after a lecture or seminar.


What is your favourite Warwick memory?

This is a hard one! I'd say my favourite memories at Warwick come from being a Fresher and living in Sherbourne. I was in a flat of 12 people and we were a close-knit circle of friends from Day 1. It's hard to pin-point a single favourite memory but I'll share a few: summer BBQs by Lakeside, going "out-out" in Coventry, Leamington, the SU and the occasional trip to Birmingham. Ultimately, some of my best core memories I had at Warwick were the most spontaneous moments with my flatmates.


How was the transition from University to work?

Transitioning from university to working was more seamless than I had anticipated. The biggest cultural shock was getting into a new routine and saying goodbye to my mid-day naps after a few hours of back-to-back lectures, seminars and study sessions in the library! But joking aside, I was prepared for life after university by completing summer internships and volunteering. Not only did the internships provide me with the foundational skills and experience to ultimately secure a job after completion of my studies but, it equipped me with the chance to explore different career paths and meet new people along the way. When talking about the transition from university to the working world, I always encourage people to consider doing an internship or volunteering during university to support them with their next steps whatever the profession they may choose.


How did Warwick help you to get where you are?

Warwick played an immense part in getting me to where I am now from the quantitative research method modules I took as part of my course, to the career fairs and networking events I attended. From very early on at my time at Warwick, I was able to connect 1:1 with potential future employers and decide what path I wanted to take for my career. Not only was Warwick instrumental in helping me with my career but because of the people I met and the experiences I had I've become such a well-rounded individual and global citizen with a huge appetite for adventure and "yes" mentality.


What is the proudest moment of your career?

My proudest moments in my career so far have centred around my involvement in sustainability topics and driving diversity, equity & inclusion in the workplace. I've been able to work on global scale projects as well as regional taskforces that have had both a business impact and one that positively shaped an individual's lived experience. I'll always feel proud about how I can influence through policy change how someone can show up and live their authentic life on a day-to-day basis at work.

Adrian on his graduation day

"Ultimately, Warwick ticked all the boxes from a personal and academic perspective that was unmatched to other universities I considered."