EBM Graduate 2013-2014
"What I learned is directly relevant to my work now."
Christina’s background prior to Warwick was in the retail and petroleum sector. With the completion of her MSc, she started working at Delphi Technologies, a global company in the Automotive sector, as a Global Junior Product Manager. Her responsibilities were many but the most exciting part was the communication channels she had to build with her suppliers and regional Delphi teams in Europe, Asia, Mexico and Brazil. After a year in her role, she got promoted to Global Product Manager for one of the biggest product lines in Delphi.
We first caught up with Christina Liaskou just a month after finishing her MSc in Engineering Business Management. She talked about how she is settling into her new job, and how she is putting what she learned at WMG into practice already.
Christina joined Delphi Automotive Systems, a leading global supplier of technologies for vehicle markets, in September 2014, just as her MSc programme was ending. So how did she manage to get her new job so quickly? “I was looking around for opportunities and making applications during my year at WMG,” she answered. “I think it’s important to start early, and I did get plenty of advice and support from staff at the university.”
As a key member of the marketing department, Christina’s role includes global product management, as well as working as part of a team to define and formulate the company’s overall marketing strategy.
“It’s a huge learning curve but I’m enjoying every minute of it,” she said. “It was all totally new when I began, as I hadn’t worked in marketing before. But I’m finding that much of what I learned during my course is directly relevant to what I do now, particularly the Strategic Marketing module.”
A different kind of learning experience
Christina came to Warwick in 2013 after studying for an MEng in Chemical Engineering at the University of Patras in Greece. During this time, she had gained practical experience through a number of internships in the oil and gas industry. “Although I had developed a broad grounding of engineering knowledge, I knew that I didn’t want to work as an engineer,” she said. “My aim was to build a career in management and taking a specialised Masters course would be a perfect step.”
After researching a number of universities, Christina chose WMG, largely because the course focuses on management within manufacturing industries. “The fact that Warwick is ranked so highly and has such a good reputation was another reason I chose to study there,” she added.
On to the course itself, what were her impressions? “I thoroughly enjoyed it. Each module began with one week of lectures, which was very intensive. The whole learning experience was completely different from anything I had come across before. We were not just taught theories, but how to apply those theories to real situations that businesses face. This helped me to understand completely the complex subjects I was studying.”
Christina also talked about the case studies and simulations that were a central element of her course. “It was great to work collaboratively in a team with other students in my class, in exactly the same way that people in industry do. It was a lot of fun too – and definitely competitive. We all wanted our team to win! Everything we did was focused on the practical application of what we had learned.”
Building a global perspective
As part of a global business, Christina now liaises with people from across the world on a daily basis. This reflects her experience at WMG, as she explained: “There were students from many different countries and cultures on my course. Everyone brings their own perspective and fresh way of approaching things. Working with them and learning from them was fascinating - and I didn’t realise at the time just how useful it would be in my future career.
“My communication skills also developed greatly during my year. I am now able to express myself in words a lot more clearly than I was able to before. This has helped me greatly, particularly as I’m expected to participate in meetings. My time at Warwick didn’t just give me an increased understanding of business, but built my confidence too.