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Lorraine Karuku

Lorraine Karuku Profile Picture

SCLM Graduate 2012-2013


"An experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life"  

Lorraine Karuku 1“Four months ago I accepted a position as a Management Trainee with Vivo Energy (Shell) in Kenya. It’s a rotational programme that will give me an insight into all of the company’s operations. I’m currently working in the Supply department, which ties in directly with what I learned during my course.

I thoroughly enjoyed the course - and my time at Warwick. It began with a very detailed induction so everyone in my student group quickly knew their way around the campus and understood what the MSc programme entailed. It was exciting to work with students from all around the world, and also good that students from different MSc courses studied modules together. This helped to make the learning more diverse, because you’re constantly interacting with people from different backgrounds with different experiences and fresh perspectives.

The structure of the course, in which you study intensively for one week and the have six weeks to complete an assignment, means that you have to learn how to manage your time. This was very different from my undergraduate studies and felt more like a professional working environment than just an academic institution.

Although all of the modules were excellent in their own right, the one that stood out for me was Leadership and Excellence, one of the elective modules I chose. It changed the way I think completely and had a deep effect on my life, making me consider how I can impact on society as a whole. I will carry that with me for the rest of my life.

Lorraine Karuku 2Developing management skills

After gaining my first degree in BEng in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, I was looking to build my knowledge of supply chain and logistics engineering. I also wanted to develop my management skills as well as my technical skills. This was one of the main reasons I chose WMG in the first place. The course offers a well-balanced mix of modules from Logistics & Operations Management, Storage & Warehouse Techniques and Problem Solving to Organisations, People & Performance.

During fresher’s week at Warwick I looked into the different societies and student organisations that I could join. One that particularly interested me was Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), a global non-profit organisation that helps students nurture their entrepreneurial skills while helping communities around the world. Through this, I was involved with Empowering Kenyan Girls, a project that helps Kenyan schoolgirls in urban slums to build their commercial awareness and knowledge of hygiene. Now I’m back in Kenya, I am able to continue that work ‘on the ground’.

Lorraine Karuku 3Relevant to industry

My dissertation project was Creating Effective Supply Chains Through The Purchasing Function. Purchasing was an area of interest and I wanted to do something directly relevant to industry. The project involved interviewing senior purchasing personnel from world-class multinational companies in the FMCG sector, including Senoble and Nestle, to determine the nature of their supply chains and procurement strategies. Then I evaluated these responses and compared them against academic theory, before making recommendations to help them gain a competitive advantage. My course supervisor gave me a number of initial contacts and supported me throughout the project. I was proud to be awarded a Distinction for my work.

After leaving WMG I returned to Kenya and was soon offered a Logistics and Warehousing Internship with Safaricom Ltd, a leading mobile network operator. Although I was only there for a couple of months, I used about 80% of what I had learned at Warwick in my practical work – and in doing so, actually saved costs for the company.

In January 2014 I gained my current role as a Management Trainee with Vivo Energy. Again, the skills that I developed during my MSc programme are being put to use every day. That is the key thing about the course: it is focused on applying theory to the real world of business, so you are able to make a positive impact on a company very quickly. I have only realised how valuable this is since I left Warwick and started my career.”