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Robin Gibbs's Story

Robin Gibbs"I don’t think there is a module yet that I haven’t brought back into the office either through direct application of methods, or through greater appreciation of business management practices. Since starting, my team members have commented on the deeper business awareness that I convey to them now."
Robin Gibbs, Service Business Executive, Rolls-Royce
MSc Service Management and Design, 2nd Year


What were you doing before you came to Warwick, and what made you decide to study with WMG?

I work in the Defence Services department of Rolls-Royce in Bristol where I lead several teams who design, sell, and manage maintenance service contracts for military aero engines. I am doing the MSc in Service Management and Design alongside my full time job.

The Services function within Rolls-Royce decided to improve the competency framework within our group and worked in partnership with WMG to develop a Master’s level degree specifically orientated on Service Design and Service Management for the advanced manufacturing industry. Being closely involved with this skill group, and running a number of teams delivering service contracts globally, I was asked if I would be interested in the opportunity, which of course I was.

I felt that I was at a stage in my career where I was not learning anything new, and the company was offering to sponsor me which was a great opportunity.

Is the course living up to your expectations?

Very much so. The content of each module is highly relevant to all that I do in my leadership role, from HR management, programme management, service design, support technologies, change management, and financial accounting, to mention a few. I feel that what I am being taught is well contextualized for the business environments.

Recently I ran a complex process improvement project, coincidentally following the Change Management module. This gave me the ideal opportunity to employ new-found methods and ideas to revising our business process. That’s just one example. I don’t think there is a module yet that I haven’t brought back into the office either through direct application of methods, or through greater appreciation of business management practices. Since starting, my team members have commented on the deeper business awareness that I convey to them now.

The residential module weeks can be long days but they are packed with varied lectures, case studies, syndicate activities, and industry speakers. They are highly engaging and very enjoyable. If I had to single out one module as a favourite so far, it would be Service Design and Delivery. Of course, the content was extremely pertinent to my job (almost tailor made!), but some of the teaching vehicles were highly inventive, unique (especially within a manufacturing audience) and effective.

The post-module assignments require discipline and a lot of evening work but they build upon the classroom training by requiring further reading, research and critical analysis to answer the essay questions. The learning doesn’t finish at the end of the module week!

What do you enjoy most about the programme?

The regular opportunity to step outside the office environment and give real deep and wide consideration to a topic; I return with a whole new set of ideas, methods and tools that you would never arrive at in the midst of chasing here-and-now office objectives.

What do you hope to do once you have completed your course?

I would like to continue my career with Rolls-Royce, enabling the Service businesses to better understand their customer value propositions and create business growth. I also plan to work with the Services function to reinforce the Services core-competencies that underpin this vital part of our business.

What advice would you give anyone thinking of applying for this course?

If you want to really understand the mechanisms of your modern business, and hone your own skills and knowledge to allow you to become a senior leader within that business, this is a great opportunity. It takes commitment and effort, but brings dividends from the very first module, and builds to an expansive body of knowledge.