The Perfect Package – the graduate improving efficiency in the world of packaging
“On the EBM course, I gained a valuable overview of engineering and management principles, including how to unify and streamline approaches that aren’t alike.”
Cost, waste and carbon footprint are the major concerns for any packaging business today. A successful supplier must work closely with customers to minimise these factors at every stage of the supply chain. This is why innovative thinking and problem solving are crucial for providing sustainable solutions. Especially in an organisation the size of DS Smith which has thousands of customers, from local businesses to major corporates.
WMG graduate Leonidas Liaskos was fortunate enough to win a coveted place on this British multinational’s global graduate scheme. Based in the firm’s packaging division, the 27-year-old has already travelled all over Europe as part of the two-year programme, and is now based back home in the Greek capital Athens. “The focus is on trying to find easier and cost-effective ways of working,” explains Leonidas whose MSc is in Engineering Business Management. “We empower people to do their jobs. It’s all about improving communication.”
Describe your work
This has varied from rolling out the company’s continuous improvement programme to leading a small packaging plant to achieve operational excellence.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
The Greek education system is focused on exams. At WMG, the work was based around assignments which demanded a change in my way of thinking. But I wanted to experience a new approach – and to study abroad.
What part did your course play in your achievements?
DS Smith has grown by acquiring new businesses with different ways of working. On the EBM course, I gained a valuable overview of engineering and management principles including how to unify and streamline approaches that aren’t alike.
What skills gained at WMG are useful in business?
The leadership course was of benefit and I hope to apply the skills learned from this in my career. The motive of a good manager shouldn’t be to control people, but to lead them for their own interest. To enable others to thrive rather than themselves.
What’s your goal and advice to others?
To develop myself and continue learning as much as possible. Aiming for high standards is important – I always try to remain focused and get the result needed while remaining agile in my approach.