September 10, 2015

Studying at the University of Warwick… An Incredible Journey…(Part 2)

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Carlos Serra, MSc Programme and Project Management WMG graduate has been telling us about his experience of coming to the UK - leaving his job, his home country of Brazil, his culture and everything he knew so well. It was an adventure of changes for him and his wife Suelem.

In the last blog, we learnt about when he first moved to the UK, his expectations before he came, and the rather different but pleasant reality of when he arrived.

In this blog, we continue on his journey as he talks about study and life at Warwick...

Part 2: Studying... and So Much More!

Carlos had thought hard about his year ahead and what he planned to achieve. Before even coming to the UK, he already had an idea about the research topic he wanted to cover in his MSc project and was prepared for many hours of study. But, so much more than just study awaited him, he came across a number of learning opportunities that he did not expect…

Study Focus...


Soon after enrolling at the university and commencing his studies, he had the opportunity to select his project supervisor from a wide range of areas; it allowed him to have an expert in the subject he wanted to research. This was really important to Carlos in ensuring he was well supported in studying his chosen project.

Besides the required support for his research project, Carlos found the teaching methods far above his expectations. Class time in modules consisted of real-to-life simulations, exercises, workshops and group activities. Between modules, the in-module practical experience was combined with in-depth study, requiring the research of papers, the reflection and a critical analysis. He said he had never seen a similar model in Brazil and found these methods of learning to be so important for the development of a student’s personal judgment with respect to each theme. Furthermore, the simulations with different people of different nationalities and cultures provided a unique opportunity to experience and develop an understanding of working in multicultural environments.

Keeping the balance...

More than studying 10 hours a day, Carlos embraced the opportunities available at Warwick to combine his study with sporting, social and cultural activities. The activities available at the university’s sports centre amazed Carlos and his wife, offering dozens of sports including some very unusual in their country such as gliding, climbing, sword-play, among others. Carlos a sportsman, enjoyed swimming, weight training and Jiu Jitsu at the centre.

The university also offered many cultural activities such as weekly trips to other cities through the International Office, hundreds of interest


societies to join at the Student’s Union, a diverse agenda of events and performances at Warwick Arts Centre, plus a cinema, two nightclubs and several restaurants, cafes and bars, all located within the university campus.

Cultural activities and sports offered even more opportunity for integrating with people from other cultures which was an extra learning experience for Carlos which he found to be a very beneficial experience and enjoyable alongside his studies.

The Life of a Student's Wife at Warwick...

Whilst most students coming to study at Warwick are often travelling here alone, in moving to the UK from Brazil, Carlos's wife Suelem came with him for the journey. So for anyone who may be bringing their family with them, she gave us some of her thoughts on what life at Warwick was like, from the perspective of a supportive wife during Carlos's studies;

"For an entire year, Carlos’s life was focused on studying. I had to get used to not always having him around whilst he spent days and evenings in the library. But I took the opportunity to look for activities for personal and professional development. I took English courses, volunteering activities, temporary work and even started to develop a business plan based on opportunities that I'd identified during the year. It was actually a very good period for our relationship, I had more time to devote to Carlos and to myself, something that was often forgotten about in Brazil given the demands of our professional lives.

The year together in the UK was often challenging, I missed my busy work life a lot, as well as her family and friends. But, with our determination and willingness, it was an enjoyable and beneficial experience for both of us. So, if you are thinking about coming to the UK with your spouse, do not hesitate!

Since studying at WMG, Carlos's career has gone from strength to strength. He has worked his way up working in Senior Project Management positions in companies including Venture Information Management, Lloyd's Register Energy and currently works as PMO Lead for Gazprom Marketing and Trading.

The research he undertook for his MSc project has proved very successfully. He has delivered presentations of his research at various conferences and it has featured in papers and articles. He is now in the final stages of writing his own book based on his research which is currently being considered for publication.

Suelem is also doing well. Since Carlos graduated, she spent over a year working in the recruitment industry in London and has since gained UK qualifications in HR. She is now CIPD level 5 qualified and is working as a Senior Global Recruiter for SGS, a Swiss organisation with over 80,000 employees all around the world, which provides inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Due to her multicultural skills in HR and Recruitment, she was tasked to travel to Angola and Brazil to implement global recruitment processes in the local offices, to meet client organisations and to do business development.

Read more about Carlos Serra and his on-going journey.

(This blog was taken from an article written on, 2012)

August 17, 2015

Studying at the University of Warwick… An Incredible Journey… (Part 1)

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Life at Warwick, by WMG Graduate Carlos Serra

Carlos Serra studied the MSc in Programme and Project Management at WMG from 2011 to 2012.
He has since gone onto be extremely successful working on a number of projects.
As the new year academic year approaches and the journey begins for a new community of WMG students, Carlos looked back to when he first came to WMG and his move from sunny Brazil to the UK.

Part 1: Breaking the Misconceptions… Life in the UK

Carlos and Suelem in Snow

“It was September 2011, and life was about to change for a young couple from Brazil…

Carlos Serra and his wife Suelem, left Brazil for “an adventure”. They left their jobs in Rio de Janeiro to cross the Atlantic in search of personal and professional development in the UK. In October, Carlos would start a Master’s Degree in Programme and Project Management at the University of Warwick, whilst Suelem planned to do a course in English language and undertake some volunteer work whilst her husband was studying.

The year ahead was one of hard work, success and much learning for both of them.

Culture Surprise...

Before he left Brazil, Carlos said he was very excited to have the chance to study with people from ten or fifteen different countries. But to his surprise, he found himself studying with more than 60 different nationalities, with representatives from almost all continents, races, religions, languages and cultures. He says he found himself very impressed with how much he had to break stereotypes in respect to any previous ideas that he had about other nationalities. From his experiences, he says to students coming to university in the UK, to

“Come with an open mind, willing to learn about different customs and behaviours and to also teach how things are in your own country, because that experience can be equally as rewarding as many of your lectures”

Morrisons Fruit and Veg

According to him, it was only through living and working with such people and experiencing first-hand these different cultures that he could truly learn and understand knowledge that television, newspapers or even books could not provide. In return, he taught a lot about Brazil to fellow students and helped to correct many misconceptions, for example, that in Brazil people do not speak Spanish, but only Portuguese.

Food, glorious food...

As food is part of the cultural experience, he told us about his ‘gastronomic’ experiences!

Carlos said, when planning his stay in the UK, many people in Brazil told him he would spend the entire year eating fish and chips - well-known as the most traditional of British foods! Moreover, people believed that he would have to spend a lot of money in order to eat properly, because fruit and vegetables would be very scarce and expensive! So before coming to the UK, Carlos and his wife were very worried about their diet and what was to come!

But, to their surprise, the perceptions could not have been more wrong!
They found the English supermarkets selling food from all over the world, often at prices more affordable than in Brazil! Most restaurants also offered food at very affordable prices. Therefore, one of Carlos's and Suelem’s hobbies was trying different dishes and drinks. Then, they suggested other people to come, and willed them to try new flavours and ingredients.

Carlos Feijoada

Besides learning and having food from different countries, and nearly putting on weight for “willing to learn too much at the time”, the couple cooked and shared with friends a Brazilian dish, Feijoada (black beans cooked with pork). It was their opportunity to share a bit of Brazil and show their cooking abilities. Those lucky friends are awaiting their next invitation to a night of Feijoada!

The cultural experiences of the couple was most definitely an important part of their experience in the UK, but what about the British people? According to the couple, another thing that people used to talk about in Brazil was that the British people are very ‘cold’. Carlos and his wife arrived in England ready to face temperatures near zero degrees and a very impersonal treatment!

It was quite the opposite! People in the UK were welcoming, friendly and warm. “British people are very sincere, sometimes even too honest for Carlos and Suelem who were so used to the way of Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro - always avoiding conflicts and trying to find solutions for every situation”. They said that when a British person says yes or no, it means yes or no, it didn’t mean “perhaps”. They said it was good to be straight forward, you knew where you stood and had realistic expectations.

The only cold came with the winter. A shopping trip for a new set of warm clothes was required to withstand low winter temperatures.

Keep posted for part 2 of the blog to find out about Carlos's thoughts on his studies and how he kept a good study-life balance...

(This blog was taken from an article written on, 2012)

July 08, 2015

Follow your career dream and make the jump!

Did you know that people spend more time planning a holiday than they do planning their career?


It was particularly true when I was a postgraduate student at Warwick, focusing mainly on planning an Easter holiday break as well as completing my dissertation. Thinking back, I wish I had started my career planning earlier AND received the amount of support now available to all MSc students!

The two dedicated Careers Advisors Siobhan and Esther gave a briefing session to WMG staff yesterday about recent careers service development. A few exciting career support services are under way, for example, a new ‘online international career Moodle’ with comprehensive information about jobs in different countries was indeed an opportunity too good to miss. Can you imagine working as a Project Engineer in Belgium? How about working to resolve the supply chain challenge for Mars China? The prospect of working for Intel in India? I am sure these opportunities will be very popular among our internationally minded students at WMG.

The reality is though, as a student you are so busy with your studies and try hard to experience all that life has got to offer. Whilst we recognise how busy students can be, we always pro-actively encourage them to make the most out of Careers and Skills’ online resources, job fairs, Master’s skills programme, one-to-one Careers support for CV checks, interview skills and job applications. Those who have taken time to meet with Siobhan and Esther have truly benefited from the one-to-one guidance and have started their job searching plans!

As Siobhan said, annual recruitment cycle starts very early. With some Graduate Schemes commence as early as November, getting a head start would certainly give you an advantage. However, for those who haven’t considered their career path just yet, the most important thing is – it is never too late to start! In light of this, Siobhan is going to hold WMG specific summer Careers Workshops at the end of July which covers career planning, tips for CV and Covering Letters and tackling job applications and interviews successfully. WMG SSLC representatives have also be rather active in promoting and engaging the 2014 cohort with all these fantastic opportunities.

At the end of the day, as a Guardian article points out, you would plan your holiday down to the last detail, so why not your career?

Don’t you agree?

May 08, 2015

How easy is it to get a job after my studies? – A Blog by WMG Student Mattia

Mattia Mattevi

I was asked to write a blog about the difficulties (or not) in finding a job after the Masters course at WMG. I am Mattia, and I commenced study at WMG on the MSc in Supply Chain and Logistics Management (SCLM) after more than 5 years of work experience in the financial and banking industry in London and in Italy (my own country).

I decided to change my career because I did not fully enjoy what I was doing in the banking sector, and I thought (before starting the masters), and I now strongly believe that Supply Chain Management and working for a manufacturing company is what I would like to do in my future career.

Coming from the “professional” world, as opposed to being a new graduate, probably helped me in understanding the mechanisms and the factors that can improve the chances of getting a job. Here are my 'suggestions'. Before though, I would like to stress the fact that everyone has different backgrounds and skills and probably different approaches to this, but I hope that my experience can help in having a different point of view on this matter.

I believe that there are four elements that contribute to successful job hunting.

1) Know yourself and what you are looking for: Easy to say but more difficult to do. It took me 5 years to understand what I like and do not like in a job/industry, and 3 different positions and companies. Nevertheless, my suggestion is to try to explore during the masters what you are good at and what you enjoy e.g. do you enjoy more of the ‘strategic/planning’ bit of a task, or more the ‘analytical calculations’ of it? It is likely that what you liked during the masters might also be what you like in your job. Try to focus on positions/jobs that reflect your attitudes and liking. For example, during my career in banking, I was a consultant doing regulatory issues/project management activities on one side (more of a ‘soft skill’ job), but also I was involved in risk model building and assessment (more of an ‘analytical’ job). This allowed me to understand that I much prefer analytical roles, thus my research for a new job has focused on the latter.

2) Have a CV ready at the highest standards: This is very important, as it is the starting point of your application process
(see point 3). Due to the fact that I came from a professional job, I already had a CV which I believed was a good one. Nevertheless, I decided to attend some of the 'Student Careers & Skills' services seminars, in particular how to build a CV and a Cover Letter, and some one-to-one sessions to assess the quality of my CV. This was very useful and allowed me to modify my CV to be in line with the UK market expectations.

3) Start early and be proactive: I started to look for a job in October when the Masters commenced. This is because the majority of the best/largest companies begin to select graduates from November/December, for positions starting in September the following year (a few weeks after the end of the Masters course). I see three benefits in starting early: (i) you have not fully started with your project, thus you can dedicate time to job hunting; (ii) more jobs are available, thus more choice and probably less competition; and (iii) you start to get a grip on the kind of selection process that UK companies employ - which can be very different to what you are used to in your home Country (this is certainly true for Italy) - such as CV screening, competency questions, on-line tests (numerical, psychometric, verbal reasoning, etc.), phone/video interviews, and - most importantly - the final assessment centre. Because this is a very intense and challenging process, the more you ‘practice’, the better you become. I started in October to send out around 20/25 applications: some did not pass the first stage (CV screening); some passed few stages, and only few ended up with an assessment centre (2 to be precise). The point I want to make is that, the more you apply, the better chances to get into the final stages and thus securing a job very early in the academic year.

Mattia Mattevi & Friends

4) Seek help from the WMG and Warwick support functions if needed: I have already mentioned the 'Student Careers & Skills', but inside WMG there are other source of information and support available. WMG actively look out for job opportunities for their graduates and email out about opportunities that you can apply for. They also organise employers to come and present to students at WMG about their company and job opportunities. Plus we’ve had Alumni visit WMG and tell us about their work experience since WMG.

In conclusion, you would wonder if this approach paid off. The answer is yes. I was lucky enough to secure a job as supply chain management graduate for a large UK manufacturer/retailer before Christmas, starting in September (just after the end of the Masters course). This provided me with the tranquillity to focus on the academic side of my Warwick experience. It was not easy though. In November/December I had nearly 10 jobs application process opened, and I had to do all the tests, phone interviews, and assessment centres which required a good amount of preparation. This, on top of the Masters work, proved to be very challenging, but I believe it was worth the effort. I have some colleagues that also started early and they secured jobs months before the end of the Masters. I would say that the key elements of my job hunting was seeking help and support from the University but, most importantly, being proactive and not expecting that jobs will come to me without putting in the required effort.

July 05, 2013

Me and MBE; Reflections of WMG Graduate Rasmus Gejl Kristensen

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Rasmus Gejl Kristensen Profile Pic

I've recently been in communication with WMG Alumni . Rasmus commenced study at WMG on the MSc in Management for Business Excellence (MBE) following completion of his B.Eng. in Global Management and Manufacturing engineering at Aarhus University in his home country of Denmark.

He thoroughly enjoyed his graduation ceremony at Warwick in January and has since written to us to share his thoughts and experiences of his time studying the MSc in Management for Business Excellence and how it is helping him now in his career.

Here's what Rasmus had to say...

It was really nice being back for the graduation, which for me was a very memorable experience. I have never experienced anything like that before. The atmosphere around the whole ceremony really made me feel proud of my accomplishment.

Since completing my studies at WMG, I found a job as a Production Engineer at Siemens Windpower where my role is to develop new production concepts and introduce new products for production. It's a role where one of my main responsibilities is to link everything together into a whole assembly concept. I have to 'translate' what is being done at an engineering level into a manufacturing process with quality standards, assembly equipment, operators etc. and all with a sound and robust business case.
Additionally my role is to work as a consultant which means I also have to bring in new knowledge and thereby increase the existing level of knowledge within the department who hired my support. In other words I have a clear customer supplier relationship, internally speaking, where I need to produce excellent products in the shape of assembly concepts for my customer to buy.

Since starting my job and undertaking my responsibilities, it's really brought my mind back to MBE and its learning environment. We had to solve a problem by gathering knowledge and bringing it all together in a group presentation. The level of our results highly depended on our skills and ability to work as a team, which involved all sorts of challenges. I knew from what I was told, that this would also be the case when we got a job, but I did not really believe it. I'd thought of a job as being different because you have the risk of being fired and other factors such as being paid - things that made me doubt that working in a job-team would be as challenging as an MBE team. But now I've come to realise that how we were learning on the course really is true to life as to how things are in industry. I have the same challenges in my job team as in all the MBE teams I was in.
So did MBE provide me with the skills to handle this? The answer would be yes and in two ways; firstly the whole method in how we learned without having any 'lectures' as such and secondly the post learning reflection through blogs. Nobody is telling you what to do or how to solve the problem. Instead it all depends on your abilities to gain knowledge from different sources and bring it all together for a robust solution. In this process you will hit some obstacles in different shapes which I personally overcame by reflecting on the situation as we did when blogging about MBE.

Rasmus Gejl Kristensen Class mates

I surely enjoyed my time at Warwick in the MBE environment. It was hard and required a lot of work but at the same time it was fun. And that only becomes better now in knowing that my effort is being acknowledged and utilised in my current job. One thing I'm sure of is that if you enjoy working in the MBE environment, you will love to work in the real life. In industry, you do not have the same level of a 'safe environment' that you have throughout the learning on MBE, but now in the workplace, I have already been praised for how I work and that is basically just for being a MBE student.

I want to say thank you to the Course Leader, Paul Roberts for all the guidance throughout the year and for his inspiring personality.
I am really happy about my current situation and my choice of taking MBE as an M.Sc. I don't know what the future will bring, but I know I will be ready and I'm looking forward to it!

You can read more about Rasmus's story on his Alumni profile.
Rasmus is open to questions, so if anyone would like to know more about his job or how MBE has helped him, feel free to leave me a comment and ask.

May 25, 2013

Deutschland Bound – Masters (and More!) in Germany

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Last week, I had the fortunate opportunity to take a short journey to our not too distant neighbours in Germany. WMG were participating for the first time in the 'Master and More' fairs that are held in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and there's even one in the UK.

But my interest on this trip was to speak to our prospective German students who may be interested to study in the UK. I think many people have heard of the phrase 'German Engineering' as Germany has become known over time for it's credibility in the Engineering field. As a key industry in Germany, engineering is a popular subject for students at German Universities and following on from an undergraduate degree, a Masters Course at WMG would compliment an engineering undergraduate degree perfectly.

Building on the technical expertise learnt at undergraduate level, WMG Masters courses look still at engineering and technological fields but from a management perspective, giving students skills and knowledge to not only work as technical specialists but to take their career to a management level.

The Master and More Fairs in Germany we're held at the Hannover Congress Centrum in Hannover and at the Globana Trade Centre near Halle/Leipzig.

I have to say that whilst being that I was in Germany, I was in no way surprised, yet was very impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of the Master and More fairs. The set up was good with a good programme throughout the day for visiting students. I met a range of prospective students on the WMG stand and I have no doubt that as a prospective student, the fair proved to be a fruitful experience in exposing students to the study opportunities available.

Cathy on Stand at Halle-Leipzig1

Our new MSc in Digital Healthcare proved to be a popular choice especially suited to those with a Biomedical Engineering background or for those from the healthcare industry, and I was happy to be joined in Hannover by the Course Leader Dr. James Harte who presented at the fair to a number of students. If you missed the presentation on the day, you can view the presentation here.

Also joining me on the stand in Hannover was WMG Alumni Jan Ruecker. Jan completed the MSc in Management for Business Excellence (MBE) in 2011 and following what he describes as a "great experience" , Jan was happy to talk to prospective students about his time at WMG. Whilst I can talk to students about their options, Jan was undoubtedly the most popular on the stand that day, talking to students about not just the course but the whole student experience at WMG and Warwick. You can read about Jan's story here. Danke Schoen Jan!

You can read a bit more about student's on-going journey on the MSc Management for Business Excellence on the MBE student blogs on which students reflect on their learning experience as they progress through the Masters course.

Following on from Hannover, I took a cross country journey on the incredibly efficient German train system (top marks Deutsche Bahn website!) to Schkeuditz West for the fair at the Globana Trade Centre. Recruitment and Marketing Manager Cathy Fawcett joined me here and participated in a Q&A sessions on Study in the UK.

Oilseed Rape 1

On a side note, I have to add at this stage what a beautiful location the Globana Trade Centre is set in. I enjoyed a breath of country air and a quiet walk each evening in the warm sun through the yellow fields of oilseed rape.

Then on Friday it was homeward bound, I once again went cross country and a few trains, planes and automobiles later and was I enjoying a nice cup of tea to end an enjoyable trip in Deutschland.

If you attended the Master and More fairs, leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts and if you have any other questions about studying at WMG, feel free to ask.

January 21, 2013

Success Stories of WMG Students 2011–12

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This week over 600 WMG MSc students from 2011-12 academic year will be celebrating their success and officially receiving their awards from Warwick at their graduation ceremony. At WMG, we are delighted with each student’s success. But sometimes students go beyond their MSc and receive recognition for their hard work in other organisations… Some of this year’s success stories include:

Carlos Serra
 Carlos Serra

MSc Programme and Project Management student Carlos Serra, won the 2012 Postgraduate Student Award by The Association for Project Management. Carlos’s winning paper entitled “The influence of Benefits Realisation Management on the success of projects in Brazil, the United Kingdom and the United States of America” was part of his MSc project dissertation.

Ploytip Jirasukprasert

Ploytip Jirasukprasert, MSc Engineering Business Management student whose paper "A Case Study of Defects Reduction in a Rubber Gloves Manufacturing Process by Applying Six Sigma Principles and DMAIC Problem Solving Methodology" written jointly with her supervisor Dr Jose Garza-Reyes, won the "Best Track Paper Award" under the Lean Six Sigma category of The 3rd International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM). The paper formed part of Polytip’s MSc dissertation.

MSc Engineering Business Management student Mitul Devpura , has also been credited for his research that he completed at WMG as part of his MSc project. His paper entitled ‘Exploring the Application of Quality Improvement Programmes and ISO Standards in the Indian Marble Mining Sector’ has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management (IJPQM).

Here is an abstract from Mituls' paper summarising the main points…

Mitual Devpura
 Mitul Devpura

“In this era of globalisation, as competition intensifies, providing quality products and services has become a competitive advantage and a need to ensure survival. To ensure such competitive advantage, organisations of different industries around the world have implemented several quality improvement programmes like ISO, TQM and Six Sigma. This paper explores the application of quality improvement programmes in the marble mining Industry of India."

Joong Lee 2
Joong (Kevin) Lee

MSc Engineering Business Management student, Joong Lee’s paper entitled ’A comparative study of the implementation status of Lean Six Sigma in South Korea and the UK’ has been accepted to be presented and published in the 23rd International Conference on Flexible Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing (FAIM) that will be taking place in in Portugal in June this year.

Here is an abstract from Joong's paper summarising his research...

"Fierce competition and more complex customer needs and demands have forced organisations to continuously improve their operations and the quality of their products and services. Over the last decades, two of the most popular and effective strategies used by organisations to achieve such improvements have been lean manufacturing and Six Sigma. However, as competition and costumer needs and demands evolved and increased, the quest for even more efficient operations and higher quality products and services resulted in the integration of these two strategies to form an improved approach known as Lean Six Sigma. This paper investigates and compares the implementation status of Lean Six Sigma in South Korea and the UK"

In addition to excellent publications and awards, several of last year’s MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship graduates are well on their way to establishing their own companies, which were designed and developed as part of their MSc studies.

Elsewhere in WMG...

And it’s not only our MSc students who have been making us proud this year. Success was also seen in other areas of WMG research and education too…

Warwick Robotics Team

Warwick Mobile Robotics team were winners at the European RoboCup Rescue Championship. The eight-strong team of WMG and School of Engineering students won special awards for Best in Class for Mobility and Best in Class for Manipulation at the four day competition in Germany and were crowned second overall in the competition.


WMG engineering students were named joint winners of the international Electric Vehicle Grand Prix held at Indianapolis. After an action-packed contest, the Warwick Racing team crossed the line in third place, earning them enough points to be crowned joint winners after they were placed second in the outreach competition and fourth in the design competition.

A team of Engineering Doctorate students from WMG took first place in the West Midlands heat of the Engineering Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (Engineering YES). The competition is for UK-based postgraduate students and post-doctoral researchers to present a business plan for an imaginary start-up company to a group of shrewd investors and industry experts.

EngD Engineering YES

Congratulations to the above and all our students who worked hard over the past year who we welcome back to Warwick this month for their graduation ceremony. We wish you every success in your future careers and look forward to maintaining strong links with you as Alumni of WMG.

November 22, 2012

A Grand Day out at Jaguar

This week I had the privilege of reliving my childhood days by going on a ‘school trip’ or as we like to call it at WMG, an ‘industry visit’. At WMG, we regularly organise day trips out to companies for our MSc students so they can learn and experience the workings of business, management and manufacturing in real life industry so to compliment their MSc and further enhance their understanding.

This week was one of our popular visits to British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar.

A bit of background...

The visit to Jaguar was really interesting and educational. We learnt a lot about the company, the processes and philosophies. So I thought I’d start with a bit of background and a few fun facts…

Jaguar, formally owned by Ford, since 2008 have been owned by Indian firm ‘TATA’, a family run yet huge company encompassing a number of businesses under its umbrella.

It is this year celebrating its 75th anniversary of the Jaguar name and it’s come a long way in terms of innovation, design, leadership and its evident success since the SS 100, the first named Jaguar in 1935. Its latest model, the F-type (pictured) based on the popular E-type will be released in April and is likely to bring some tough competition to the market.

Jaguar F-Type

Jaguar has also designed the ‘C-X75’ a car of the future. It’s a low emission and dare I say ‘electric’ but this should not put you off as it’s designed to deliver the same high performance as its fossil fuel counterparts reaching speeds of over 200 mph. Although if anything perhaps makes you think twice, the price may be just that, priced at approximately £700,000 - £800,000!

Each car at Jaguar is made to order and whilst there are standard fixtures that can be bought, it can also be personalised to the customers’ preference. Our very own Prime Minister travels in his XJ X351 model with specially designed features including bullet proof windows, bomb proof body, run proof tyres and a self-contained oxygen supply!

Back to the Visit…

The best part for me was the tour of the assembly line. Formally the place that Spitfires came to life ready for war, the factory now contains the intricate workings of the Jaguar assembly line starting from the aluminium body parts being put together by £250,000 Kawasaki robots with precision accuracy up to the finished product, with its perfectly polished painted body, and the leather of 10 well-kept cows ensuring comfort within. Though I shouldn’t skip too quickly over the ‘robots’ – they were incredible. The nearest I’m getting any time soon to a real life transformers movie. Camera photography was prohibited in the assembly line so I’ve found this nice little video to give you an idea (visual only unless you have good German language skills) ...

Management and Logistics

From its earlier days under Ford’s ownership, Jaguar has been working under the Ford Production System. But through greater efficiency and lean manufacturing practice and their ‘Just in Time’ approach, Jaguar plan to have adapted to their own production system by 2014 to ensure maximum efficiency whilst preserving the value to the customer.

Logistics are provided by DHL, Jaguars logistics partner who work on site constantly to ensure the flow of materials onto the production line for exactly when they are needed.

Something else that came through to me on my visit to Jaguar was the positivity and cheeriness of the staff. Whilst I’m sure it’s needn’t be said that staff should aim to make a good impression with visitors, I felt genuine happiness amongst the staff and workers I encountered at the Jaguar plant. On the assembly line, whilst there is great pressure for staff to keep the operation moving, there was always a welcoming smile from production line workers. It reminded me of the friendly and British politeness I often encounter at passport control in Birmingham airport (yes I’m serious). Perhaps it’s a Midlands thing! But genuinely in listening to a presentation after the tour, he explained the importance of staff feeling valued at Jaguar, from involving employees in ‘continuous process improvement’ to reward and recognition schemes plus little bonuses such as having a nice Jag for the weekend (yes please). Additionally how can staff not feel happy when a call for assistance alarm on the assembly line resembles ‘merry-go-round’ music to make you feel like you’re at the fair or Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer to remind us that Christmas is coming. Each time the call alarm was pressed and the music played, I couldn’t help but smile even if it did feel a tad surreal.

Thank you to Bob and Mick for our tour, to Jim Wilkins, Partnership Centre Delivery Officer for the fine presentation and the whole team at Jaguar who made for a fun and interesting day out!

WMG MSc students can look forward to several further visits this year including other car manufacturers, electricity firms, information security companies and various exhibitions to compliment the learning on their WMG courses.

There's far more to learning at WMG than having you heads in the books.

If you’ve been on a ‘Grand Day out’ at Jaguar, let us know what your thoughts.

October 23, 2012

US Students in the UK

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Following on from my previous blog, it got me thinking as to why US students should study in the UK.

Now, there is no denying that the US is a big place with many study opportunities on the doorstep for many prospective students. But isn't that in itself a reason to travel further afield! For most students, it's a time of life with few commitments, a time before you get the mortgage, the family and the career. A time when travel is possible and experiencing the world and different cultures can be reality.
And across just a short stretch of water shall we say, the UK is waiting to offer you all of these possibilities.

But Why the UK?


Let's start with language barrier. What language barrier I hear you say! Indeed, for American students considering studying abroad, the UK offers this wonderful opportunity to undertake study without the further challenge of studying in a new language. The only thing you'd need to worry about is which 'biscuit' the have with your Starbucks! But if you wanted explore languages whilst studies, the Language Centre at the University of Warwick offer some great oppportunies.

Then there's the course length to consider. The UK is well known for offering quality education and having a degree from the UK is considered well in the job market. But a real benefit is the time you spend studying. In the UK, Bachelors degrees are generally only 3 years long whilst Masters degrees are generally only one year long. Take a look at the Masters courses that you could accompish in a year with WMG and get a head start in moving towards your chosen career.

Finance and Fees - The million dollar question! Fees can vary in the UK and there are often scholarships available. But the big 'win' here is on living costs. Because courses are shorter than in the US, you need to finance your living costs for a shorter period of time and so can save on expenses.

Entry Exams - GREat! I understand it to be quite common in the US to ask for entry exams before commencing graduate study such as the GRE. Whilst the GRE is required for some courses in the UK, most courses do not require it. None of our courses at WMG require the GRE. We look at your academic background, e.g. subject and final GPA in your bachelors plus a good personal statement. For more information on WMG's entry requirements, check out our application page!


Travel the World! Well at least Europe for starters! Europe is such an interesting place, with so many countries, all with different cultures, foods, traditions and wonders to experience. And during your time in UK, you could not be in a better location to do a bit of country hopping. With most countries just a few hours flight and competative flight prices, short breaks to exciting destinations are an easy option for some time out during your studies! WMG graduate Derrick from California mentions some of his experiences on his profile and check out Lonely Planet's guide to Europe for more information.

Have a Royal time! You can't fail to hear a bit about our Royals whilst over in the US. There was no shortage of news on Kate and Wills whilst I was there! So whilst in the UK, do as one must! Visit our capital, see the palace, watch the changing of the guards and breath the fresh air of our lakes and mountains in our green and pleasant land. There are many places just in the UK to experience. We are so much bigger than London!Europe Collage

I've just touched on a few reasons why you should consider the UK to study. Other top words would be culture, diversity, tolerance, freedom, homour, creativity , heritage, environment and even our weather makes for a good study environment! You can find out more on the Education UK website.


If you want to be the big fish in your career, take that trip across the pond!

If you're a student in the UK and have other ideas as to why study in the UK is great, leave us a comment!

October 05, 2012

WMG go Stateside!

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Yes that is right! This September WMG widened our wings and travelled to the big US of A to meet American students and tell them a bit more about possible study opportunities in the UK.

It all started in the fabulous New York City! My first introduction to the Big Apple was the incredible Manhattan skyline as I flew into Newark airport. It's a sight of wonder that wouldn't fail to entice any viewer into the depths of the city streets overlooked by the towering skyscrapers.

But it's not all awe and wonder for this trip - I had a busy schedule to keep! My working week started with a meeting with Dr. Silverman, head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering at Manhattan College. Manhattan College is beautiful 4 year college located in the Bronx. Thank you to Dr. Silverman for the tour of the beautiful campus and talking to me about the aspirations, activities and learning experiences of the student body at Manhattan College.

Then it was straight back on the train into the heart of Manhattan to attend the Idealist Grad School fair hosted by New York University Graduate School of Public Service. This was my first fair in the US and it was great to speak one to one with American students about their prospects. Something that stood out to me was the confidence and positivity of each student I met. Whether they were not quite sure what their next step was or they had a subject that they were passionate about, a contagious enthusiasm came through.

Warwick Stand Grad Fair 2012 from on Vimeo.

Next day, I was off to NYU-Poly to speak with the Director of Careers Centre, James Sillcox. James plays a key role in advising students of their next steps, whether it is work or graduate school. As people and companies aspire to become global, universities encourage students to gain that global perspective through their studies. NYU-Poly students may wish consider furthering their education at WMG in the UK, which offers relevant subject choices to gain not only knowledge and skills but also an international experience before they are faced with similar cultures in the working world. Pick up a WMG brochure in the NYU-Poly careers centre or take a look at WMG Masters courses on our website.


Then Saturday morning came, as did my desire for a good cup of tea! You can take the girl out of England but you can't take England out of the girl! So whilst I'm a tad ashamed to admit it, I visited my old faithful 'Tea and Sympathy' in Greenwich village for a good English breakfast! If you want a taste of Great Britain in the big city, a visit is a must!

English Breakfast

Then Saturday afternoon, it was back to work for the QS World Grad School Tour at the Hilton New York on Avenue of the Americas. I met a number of students at this fair interested in WMG courses including the MSc Digital Healthcare, MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship and MSc Engineering Business Management to name just a few!

New York was a busy time and my trip along the east regions of America took me onwards, to Washington DC where I was accompanied by Warwick Graduate and current White House Employee Andrew Terrell!; Boston where everybody knew my name and Providence where I stopped talking to prospective students just long enough to entertain a little magic of the Big Bang Theory, at the Cheesecake factory!

World Grad School tours and Idealist Grad Fairs take place in various venues across the US and throughout the world. To ensure you don't miss us when we visit your country, keep an eye on news and events page!

If you met me at a fair in the US or are considering study in the UK, I'd love to hear from you.

Please leave a comment and keep an eye out for my next blog entry about the benefits of studying in the UK for American students.

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University of Warwick
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