As part of Employability Month our hope is to inspire you to dream about your future career. What better way than for one of our Alumni to share their experiences with you? Thus ‘Alumni Thursdays’ was born– in collaboration with the Alumni team, each Thursday in Employability Month we will introduce you to one of our successful alumni, who not so long ago was starting out their career just like you.
Last week we had Joanna Orland share about her passion for the gaming industry. This week, we are excited to hear from Jeremy Cobbold, Westminster MBA alumnus and Head of International Logistics Retail at Marks and Spencers. Jeremy has worked within M&S for close to 20 years across the Retail, Finance and Logistics divisions where he has developed a deep understanding of retail supply chains across both UK and International markets. Prior to working for M&S he worked in the freight forwarding industry.
Jeremy, could you tell us a little about your background?
‘I’ve spent the best part of 25 years working in both retail and also logistic operations, right from air freight operations in Heathrow through to working on shop floors in retail stores, to then working in warehouses around the world supporting the operations of retail in Mark and Spencers operation.’
What did the MBA at Westminster give you?
‘An appreciation and consideration of thinking about what the impact of what I might do on the business would have on other parts of the business, so it may be thinking about problems in a more rounded way. It really opened my eyes up to the impact I could have on other areas and indeed how other areas could have an impact on me. So you have a much wider approach of thinking, and I think that is applicable in business or any environment.’
What are three top skills for future logistic experts?
‘Being able to deal with change and manage change. The second one is related to that, having the ability to be flexible at all times, and the third one, which I think is the most important, is having an absolute customer-centric thought process in everything that you do, because it is so critical in logistics operations to align your service to customer needs.’
What’s your advice for future MBAs?
‘I would recommend they do two things. One is absolutely do all the reading around the topic. It sounds like a chore at the time but it really does help to put everything into perspective. The second thing is to take the time to learn about other students who are on the course, to learn about their experiences. Often people will approach issues and challenges in the workplace differently so you can learn a lot from the people who are on your course as well.’
Finally, how would you describe your MBA experience in one word?
‘Rewarding, challenging, fun.’
Jeremy has shared some top tips with us in the field of logistic operations and how his MBA equipped him further in his career. He has also encouraged students to network with others and learn from their experiences. We are running Networking events throughout Employability Month across all campuses, so why not come along to one and start building on your network? Or if you are feeling unsure about your career path, why not book a Quick Query session with one of the Career Consultants by calling 02079115184, and start thinking about your future now.
Are you keen on journalism? Love photography? Then don’t miss next week’s Alumni Thursday!