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Berry Elen


SCLM student 2016-17


“Although I have extensive professional experience, I gained hugely from the course.”

What work experience did you have before joining WMG?

After gaining my first degree in Chemical Engineering, I worked in the sugar refinery industry where my focus was mainly on process improvement. Some of the projects I worked on included reducing plant energy costs and improving intra-factory distribution systems. In 2014 I was promoted to its holding company as Lead Commercial Analyst and Operations Controller. My task was to oversee all subsidiary companies operations, as well as leading a range of projects to drive profitability and growth.

Why did you step back from a successful career to pursue an MSc?

Knowledge is developing rapidly and I needed to stay ahead of these developments if I was to take my career further. Supply chain and logistics was a natural area to study for me, because managing and continually improving this area of a business is absolutely critical to its success. WMG’s course covers the key themes where I knew that I needed to broaden and deepen my understanding. Also, Professor Godsell of WMG is a distinguished leader in Operations & Supply Chain Strategy. I had read a number of her papers and I was very keen to work with her.

Did the course live up to your expectations?

Definitely. It is very well designed and all of the modules feed into each other, rather like a Venn diagram, to give students an end-to-end understanding of the entire supply chain and logistics arena. The guest speakers we had were outstanding and added a great deal to our learning. They presented working case studies and their wide-ranging professional experience gave us lots of insights and new perspectives from a range of industries with a variety of different challenges.

Did anything else stand out for you?

At the end of the intensive learning weeks we worked through simulations in small groups – and they were exceptional. They let us apply what we’d learned in the module in a hands-on way as we took control of a business situation. For example, during the Logistics and Operations Management module, we took on different roles within a company and worked together to define materials resource planning. The tutor would add tricky conditions so it was extremely challenging and we had to constantly prepare for what might happen next. Lastly, I also took part on the SAP course which was supported by WMG being part of SAP University Alliance. This enables me to further understand the utilization of ERP in managing various business processes.

What did you gain from these simulations?

I could see straight away how closely the simulations mirror what life is like in the real world of business. They were very enjoyable too – and because they let us put the theory of the module into practice, the learning went a lot deeper than it would if you just listened to a lecture or read a book. Although I came to the course with extensive professional experience, I gained hugely from it and I know that I am now equipped to make a bigger contribution to business than I was before.

What’s you next step once you have finished the course?

I already have an internship lined up at Jaguar Land Rover. That actually came about because of WMG: my career co-ordinator found the role and advised my throughout the application process. After that, I will return to Indonesia where I hope to start a supply chain service company. That idea also came from my time at WMG. We had a guest tutor who talked us through a business model that has been successful in their own country. I realised that I could adapt that model to the market in Indonesia and I am sure it will also be successful there. So I have gained much more out of my time at WMG than learning about supply chain and logistics management!”