INT Graduate 2014-2015
"Warwick definitely builds strong leaders"
What were you doing before you came to Warwick?
I was studying in Sheffield for my BSc in Applied Computing with Internet and Business Technologies, Computer Software Engineering. Through this, and a number of internships that took during my time there, I had developed a strong base of technical knowledge. I wanted to build on that by learning more about business and how today’s global organisations are harnessing emerging technologies to drive their growth.
So an MSc course was your clear next step?
Yes, though I originally thought about gaining more experience in the workplace before taking an MSc, so perhaps waiting for a couple of years. But people I talked to on my internships said that it might be a better idea to embark on a course sooner rather than later. Otherwise, it’s easy to become too busy with life commitments and find that you simply don’t have the time to return to full-time studies.
Why did you choose to study at WMG?
The fact that Warwick is recognised globally as a leading university was a big factor. And I liked the course structure: the way it’s not just about studying in a classroom all the time, but you are given the time and resources to research and explore subjects independently. Another key reason was the nature of the International Technology Management course itself and its diverse range of modules that cover key business topics.
What were your first impressions of Warwick?
I didn’t realise how big it is. Not just physically, but the network of organisations that are involved in its work. It felt like I was at the hub of something really important and exciting: a centre for technology and business. Because the campus is self-contained, there’s also a great feeling of community. Everyone around you is connected with the university in one way or another.
What were your impressions of the course itself?
The way the course is structured worked extremely well for me. Each module comprised a week of intensive tuition followed by four weeks to complete a post-module assignment. This gave me the time to thoroughly research the topic and develop a true understanding of it. In fact, I even use information from my post-module assignments now in my day-to-day work. The support from all of WMG’s staff was amazing too. My supervisor was there at every stage and was prepared to help me with any issue.
The group exercises were another important part of the programme. They taught me how to collaborate with colleagues from many different cultures and backgrounds. I was actually the only student from the UK on my course. Although I didn’t realise it at the time, these exercises were preparing me for life in a global business environment.
Can you give us an example of a group exercise?
In the e-Commerce module, we worked in teams to deliver a site within just three days. I remember that it was complete chaos management at first! But with the help of our supervisor, we soon got going and immersed ourselves in the project. We were working until nine or ten o’clock at night but we were all really enjoying ourselves. It actually didn’t feel like work. This hands-on approach to learning involves solving real-world problems and developing solutions as a group against tight deadlines. As such, it replicates life in a work situation brilliantly. It really is the best way to learn. We also came first out of eight teams, which was great!
What happened after you left WMG?
I had received an offer to join Konica Minolta while I was at WMG, having found the job on the Warwick careers page. I joined them straight after I finished the course and was planning to move to Japan, but through my personal network I had another offer from Ping An, a Forbes Top 50 company that’s based in China.
This was just too good to miss. It was a chance to be part of an innovative and fast-growing global business that’s at the forefront of new technological developments. As a Technical Product Manager, I manage projects to develop and improve tailored platforms that are and have been used by some of the world’s best-known travel companies. There’s a lot happening here and the work itself is very complex, but it’s a terrific challenge and I’m enjoying every minute of it.
Is what you learned at WMG helping you in your work now?
It’s helping me hugely. I’m constantly dealing with people from the UK, India and China, so my exposure to different cultures and ways of working at WMG has been a massive help. Also, I leaned how to negotiate and focus on achieving the best outcome for everyone. I’ve already been involved in contract negotiations here and, thanks to what I learned, I have the confidence to make a positive contribution.
Probably one of the biggest benefits for me has been the leadership skills that I developed. I feel able to suggest new and more effective team structures, stand up for my team and change the way we work so that people enjoy their jobs while being as productive as possible. When I chose to study at WMG, I didn’t realise that it would make me such a strong leader.