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Graduate Testimonials

Sarah Ainsworth (Global Project Leader, AstraZeneca)

Sarah Ainsworth 

I attended SPP as part of the ZN26 stream. At the time I was newly based at Macclesfield as a Process Execution Team leader for Zomig NS. From the outset, the first SPP module, Strategic Decision Making, helped me position my new role within the wider product scope. The Post Module Assignment helped me understand the broader background and future strategic direction. In fact, this Post Module Assignment also enabled me to identify opportunities that could be done to further improve the product cost base.

SPP continued at this strong level, developing me as a supply chain professional, as a leader and as an individual. The support received through the other participants and speakers, enhanced my learning and broadened my network outside of the programme.

Most importantly for me has been the opportunities that SPP provides. The Post Module Assignments and Final Project were tough to complete however they did enable me to reach out beyond my role and work on initiatives and issues that have benefit in the work place whilst also extending my professional network and my experience.

In summary, SPP has helped me develop myself, my network, and provided me with useful tools and frameworks. I will be extending into the Masters programme, to provide me with a qualification that will strengthen my professional profile.

Abhay Kamath (Site Manager, Syngenta C.P. Indonesia)


When I joined for the SPP program (ZN24) I was based in our Singapore office, providing regional oversight on our Tolling operations in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. By the time I completed the program I was in a site management role based in Indonesia.

SPP gave me the strong fundamental grounding and the confidence to deal with the myriad challenges that a site manager faces. I was able to

  • Maintain a balance between short-term pressures and long-term perspectives for the site, and evolve a holistic site strategy
  • Appreciate the cultural differences in my environment and understand my team’s outlook and improve my own behavior.
  • Use of the SPC tools helped build a strong, aligned & motivated site team and also gave me the soft skills to manage organizational dynamics.
  • Play a significant role in improving compliance levels at the site, and
  • Deliver the infrastructure improvement projects and manage new launches

We are now on the Operational Efficiency and Lean journey. I already see the site team bringing innovative solutions to our challenges. I can see the site evolving into the best in APAC in the foreseeable future.

In retrospect, the modules were interesting and informative; the Post Module Assignments were challenging and testing, and building long-term bonds with my teammates is invaluable. The power of the program was unleashed in my site management role and helped add value to the site and the business. As I write this and think about my 2 years at this site, the full impact of how much SPP has enabled me to perform in my role is becoming obvious. I believe the investment our leadership made in me is bearing fruit, and shall continue to be a source of strength to me. A very big THANK YOU to all the lecturers and guest speakers and organizers of this well rounded course that genuinely tunes participants into confident professionals to face today’s challenging business landscape.

Ifeanyi Abadom (Factory Manager, PZ Cussons Nigeria)


Participating in the Supply Professionalism Programme (SPP) has been of immense benefit to me as an individual and to the organization I work for as a whole.

Personally, it has exposed me to various tools and models, which have made me more equipped in my day-to-day activities.  The module on ‘leading change and improving personal performances’ exposed me to some fantastic learning e.g. Life line vision, Effective listening, Left and right brain thinking, Effective coaching, etc.  Delegating in my work place has helped me focus on the more important issues.   

The programme has also been a source of exposure to colleagues from other industries, nationalities and background.  This enabled us share our knowledge, expertise and understanding with each other.

With regards to my work and job as the factory manager, the tools learnt during the modules are being used by my colleagues and I.  The use of Fish bone diagrams, 5-whys, Kaizen, scenario planning, etc. have all been beneficial.

The module Operations Management in Lean Supply Chains (OMLS) facilitated by Dr. Adrian Watt and the Post Module Assignment that followed gave my factory some significant financial benefits.  After the implementation of some recommendations, which were based on the learning’s from the module, we were able to drop our waste level from 4% to 2.1% in 3 months. 

It is also my expectation that my final Company Based Project when fully implemented will deliver more benefits, circa $US 85,000. 

It has really been an honour for me to participate in this programme.  I wish to appreciate the management of PZ Cussons PLC for this opportunity.  In particular, I would like to appreciate the help and guidance of Mr. David Lynch throughout the duration of this programme.  To Gareth Taylor, the Programme Manager and all the tutors who handled the different modules, a big thank you.

I would like to thank my Industrial Supervisor Mr. Theo Varelas and my Academic Supervisor, Dr Adrian (Wahala) Watt for their appropriate guidance in completing this final project.  Your effort especially in spending so much time on the phone with me is highly appreciated.

I am immensely grateful to my line manager Mr. Joshua Alabi for his understanding and assistance.  I would also like to appreciate Mr. Anil Kumar, and Mr Mike Tsapatsaris and my wife Mrs Judith Abadom.  They all contributed in Material, Knowledge and moral support.  May God bless you all.

Ruben Kuin (SAP Implementation Lead for The Netherlands, Syngenta Seeds)


The SPP program has benefited me greatly through improving my knowledge and skills by understanding the bigger picture of the enterprise. Every single module answers questions around the central and foremost theme: “understanding the customer” and “which options adds most value to the customer”.  Consequently I feel much more confident in picking up complex challenges at work and influencing people around me, both upwards and downwards in the hierarchy. I feel I am ready now for a next step in my career. The ‘recipe’ of the program, blending academic tutors, company experts and practical workshops in a multicultural environment has let me experience a very interactive, enjoyable and effective way of learning both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills. Although writing Post Module Assignments is not easy sometimes, these have made me put theory into practice. That is where the company and personal benefits have come together.

Andy Tidmarsh (Process Technology Manager, MSD)

Andy Tidmarsh 

I found the SPP programme to be enlightening, enjoyable and hard work.

The course material covers a wide range of topics in sufficient detail to both enable basic application and encourage further learning. In my opinion this is a key factor in the success of the programme as it enables a diverse group of managers (culture, company & role) to take the same classes, but each take different key-learning points back to their place of work.

I enjoyed and took relevant learning from each of the modules. In hindsight the Strategic Decision Making and People & Change modules are the ones that have influenced me most since attending SPP. The SDM module for starting the customer-focused thinking and conversion of customer needs into business strategy. The People & Change module for highlighting the critical importance of the manager’s personal performance and behaviour in effective team performance, and in seeking continuous improvement at a personal level.

The teaching style adopted by the SPP programme, together with the standard of the speakers is also worthy of praise. The teaching style is relaxed, interactive, and dispersed with case-studies and group exercises, which all help to embed the course material. However the one key learning method for me was the Post Module Assignment, each of which is focused on applying the module learning to the current challenges at the participants place of work. In this way the PMAs ensure that participants can translate lecture material into business benefit – the core purpose of the programme.

To me the key business benefit of the programme is in developing people. Developing people to have a structured thinking process such that they first solve the right problem, then go about solving it the right way, all the while bringing others along with them and dealing with the inevitable changes that appear on route.


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