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Newsletter article - the journey following graduation

The journey following graduation can lead our alumni in a multitude of directions with a number of challenges and successes along the way.

Four of our recent graduates tell their story of their personal journey.

Ahmad Hassan - Opening doors to opportunity

Coming to the United Kingdom and studying at a top-ten university was always a dream come true for me. As a student with a background in business I was aiming to develop my career into the field of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. When I received an offer letter from WMG at the University of Warwick, I knew that this was an opportunity to change my life.

The learning experience and personal development under the late Professor Lord Bhattacharyya really set me up to achieve my career objectives. Specialist modules, research work and visits to logistics and manufacturing companies gave me the knowledge and practical understanding I needed.

Studying in such a diverse environment amongst highly experienced students from all over the world helped me to learn and develop my ideas through continuous improvement. I found the research workshops and mind-mapping techniques particularly useful to develop my future career plans.

Graduating from WMG with an MSc in Supply Chain and Logistics helped me to secure a senior role in a tech firm knows as Careem. This is the Mena region’s top tech service company and a competitor of Uber. The company has recently been acquired by Uber for $3.1 billion.

My time at WMG has also given me a wider perspective, helping me to appreciate the importance of sustainable environments and social sustainability for the region, and continuous improvement for the company. In addition to my position as city lead of the Balochistan region, I have become a mentor of entrepreneurs/startups in TiE (Pakistan region).

In a short space of time, I have used the knowledge and experience from WMG to transform my career and change my life.

David Denes Pall - From WMG to Google

Every beginning is tough - this phrase is used in our everyday language as well as during self-reflection. These four words help us to give hope for others and ourselves.

This was also the sentence I often heard from my family and friends during my first months in the UK which were not as bright as I imagined: I felt lonely, struggled to find friends and the number of articles to be read for classes seemed to be over my limits.

After a few weeks spent familiarising myself with the campus, submitting my first assignment and making friends with peers (some of them in exactly the same shoes as myself), I started to feel better and one year later I graduated from WMG at the University of Warwick with Merit.

I arrived at my graduation ceremony straight from my Noogler Orientation (the name stands for the induction programme new Google hires go through) and felt enormously grateful for that 12 months at WMG. At WMG my professors facilitated rather than led conversations. Being partners with academic and industry professionals fosters critical thinking and encourages individuals to speak up with supporting arguments and debate openly. At Google, where there is a new product beta version almost every week, there are usually no absolute answers for day-to-day business questions. Giving voice to one’s way of thinking is key.

I work with people from Philosophy or Engineering backgrounds located in one of our 70 offices across LATAM, APAC and EMEA regions. It is fruitful to look at the same problem from different angles. The University of Warwick is famous for being international (with an International Student Index of 99.1, QS World University Rankings 2020) and welcoming institution supporting collaboration through student societies, sport clubs, mentoring and much more.

Throughout the last few years working at Google, I have had five different managers, gone through two reorganisations, moved country and contributed to numerous tiny and global projects. My supervisor at WMG helped me to set expectations, which therefore helped me to be comfortable with change and listen actively.

Before my Master’s studies at WMG, I could never imagine even working in a language other than my mother tongue. It was difficult for me towards the start at WMG on a personal level, but after a few months (and now years) my path has become clearer to me. Not easier, but clearer.

Sofija Daceva - Ideas into action

I graduated from WMG at the University of Warwick in 2018, however I am still an active member of the WMG community. I obtained my MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and now, after my start-up is “on its feet and running” I can claim that this wouldn’t have been possible without my time at WMG.

Living in an era of digital technologies, we face constant transformation in the ways people interact with each other, learn, access services, work and travel. At the same time, phenomena such as climate change, migration, demographic change and many others are putting pressure on humanity. Being part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme has helped me not only to understand “entrepreneurship” as an activity solely connected with development of a new business or self-employment, but as a competence that can be learnt and applied everywhere. Specifically, it helped me to face up to challenges and keep pace with change, by learning how to get out of my comfort zone and turn ideas into action, everywhere. This has helped me to become “entrepreneurial” everywhere, by spotting opportunities and challenges and turning them into value for others. Moreover, it showed me the importance of giving back to the community and the society.

Two years after my graduation, I managed to obtain a one-year work experience as a consultant, as well as develop my own start-up business. My start-up, Matryoshka, is about the development of innovative technological processes in the food and beverage industry. Up to date, I have developed two processes including increasing the freezing point of alcohol from -30°C to 0°C and valorization of the wine making by-product – grape pomace, by inserting it into dairy products and increasing their shelf-life for up to 35%. The professors, colleagues and the whole community at WMG were the main reasons for turning my ideas into action. They provided support whenever I faced an obstacle, and always made me feel that I am not alone. I am also sponsored by The University of Warwick with a Graduate Entrepreneurship Visa, which provided me with the ability to open and run my business in the UK. With the support from the University, I managed to obtain a grant from the Fund for Innovations and Technology Development and seed funding from Warwick Enterprise, used for developing my startup.

I have devoted my skills to solving environmental challenges, as well as helping other current WMG students to overcome obstacles, the same way other WMG alumni helped me. This is the best part about being a member of WMG. You are a part of a large network of like-minded people that makes you feel connected to the whole world.

Nilgun INCE - from Sherlock Holmes to James Bond

Sherlock Holmes? Yes, WMG at the University of Warwick gave me the chance to be Sherlock Holmes for three months at Jaguar Land Rover!

My WMG journey had begun after completing my bachelor in industrial engineering in Turkey. My aim was to enhance my practical skills in engineering so I chose the University of Warwick which works very close with manufacturing companies. I studied Manufacturing Systems Engineering and Management (MSEM) course with a group of engineers from various countries. In this course, we had to complete nine modules and in each of them, we had given a real life manufacturing problem to analyse and report our solution strategies at the end.

After finishing modules, I had to work on a specified subject and write a thesis. I chose to work on an applied project and collaborative projects with Jaguar Land Rover was the best way for this. I did my project in JLR Halewood site (in Liverpool) with the supervisory of Dr. Daniel Vera. At the beginning, it was a bit hard to work in JLR site as it was my first experience in car manufacturing but both of my supervisors (from the company and from WMG) had supported me a lot. As a result, my findings helped the company to make a better manufacturing schedule and both supervisors and I were happy.

After a successful thesis, my WMG supervisor suggested internship role and encouraged me. It was a paid internship opportunity working with the JLR manufacturing transformation team. My role was to work as a data analyst, analysing current systems and recommending a plan for improvement.

The most exciting thing about this role was the chance to work with experienced managers. They were all very knowledgeable, understanding and helpful. My office base was the Solihull Plant but I visited other plants (Castle Bromwich, Gaydon and Halewood) to get a deep-dive on major areas of investigation. In each plant, we met managers and engineers to ask questions, analyse current database systems and challenge the way work had been carried out to identify possible areas for improvement.

Throughout my internship, my thesis supervisor from WMG visited the factory where we discussed my progress, updated the time schedule and redefined my project outputs as new ideas emerged.

Towards the end of my work placement, I was invited to undertake the “JLR Experience”. This unexpected bonus involved driving the newest models of JLR cars, with the latest features and technologies. It was thrilling to drive in an off-road environment where I could safely test a car to the limits of its performance capability. The JLR expert who accompanied me explained how new technologies had been applied to the design of these vehicles. It felt like going from Sherlock Holmes to James Bond as we plunged the car into deep water to demonstrate water-tightness, then drove down-hill without applying brakes, demonstrating new autonomous features. It was such a memorable end to my time with JLR.

Finally, I presented my findings, explained areas for improvement and completed the internship programme successfully. Without the support and inspiration of my WMG supervisor I couldn’t have even imagined this opportunity and without my time at WMG I would have missed an experience of a lifetime!

Ahmad Hassan

Ahmad Hassan

David Denes Pall

David Denes Pall

Sofija Daceva

Sofija Daceva

Nilgun Ince

Nilgun Ince