“Everything I do relates to what I learned at WMG.”
After leaving WMG in 2014, Gulzhan started her new job as a Procurement Specialist with Tengizchevroil in Kazakhstan. She took a break from her busy schedule to talk to us about why she chose to study at Warwick – and describe her experience of her course.
Gulzhan chose to study for a Masters degree in Supply Chain and Logistics Management though, so why did she decide to take this different route? “I gained my first degree in Communications Engineering in 2006,” she said, “then worked in a variety of engineering roles in Kazakhstan. I wanted to gain the management skills I needed to further my career – and update my technical skills too. My original plan was to study for a higher degree in Engineering Business Management or a similar subject.”
“I found that there are huge career opportunities in logistics here in Kazakhstan. There is a shortage of people with a strong understanding of the industry and an up-to-date knowledge of the latest business tools, technologies and systems.
WMG’s course looked extremely interesting. I liked the wide range of different subjects covered by the modules. I had also gained a Bolashak Scholarship to study overseas for 12 months, so the length of the programme was ideal.”
Developing management skills
Gulzhan came to the UK in 2012 and took an English Language course at University College London to improve her English skills before beginning her MSc programme. In May 2013 she came to Warwick for an open day.
“I fell in love with the campus right away,” she said. “It’s great that everything is on one site and within easy walking distance. It’s also very quiet and and seemed to be the perfect place to study. It was useful to speak with tutors and students - all of the people were very friendly and welcoming.”
So what did she think of her course ”I really enjoyed it,” she answered. “I liked the structure of studying for an intensive week then having time to research more as I completed the assignment.
“We were fortunate to have a number of guest lecturers who work in the industry. The teaching isn’t just academically focused: as well as covering the technical aspects of each subject, we learned how business and management operate in the global arena. This gave me skills and approaches that I was able to use as soon as I stepped into a commercial environment.”
“We spent a good deal of time working as teams on projects and simulations,” Gulzhan continued. “I really enjoyed this as it gave me the opportunity to work with different people from around the world. As well as making new friends, it developed my understanding of cultural differences which is helping me in my work now. The cultural diversity of WMG is something that stood out for me and it made my year there one I shall never forget.”
Gulzhan applied for the role of Procurement Specialist with Tengizchevroil, one of the biggest companies in the Kazakh oil and gas industry, while still at Warwick. Having passed an intensive and competitive interview process, she began work as soon as she returned home.
“I was surprised and really pleased to get the job,” she said. “I talked about my course at the interview, which I am sure helped me to succeed. Everything I do relates to what I learned at WMG – particularly the Procurement & Inventory Management and Supply Chain Management modules. I am putting the knowledge I gained from them into use on a day-to-day basis, and it has made a huge difference to my ability to perform well in my role.”