A brief history of your career since leaving the University of Birmingham

My career history is as follows: Operations Manager (3 years) Purchasing Manager (2 years) Sales Manager (2 years) Business Unit Manager (7 years) Commercial & Shipping Director (2 years) Eurasia Business & Supply Chain Director (2 years) Managing Director (8 months)

Skills and knowledge from your postgraduate degree have you used in your career so far

I frequently utilise skills I’ve accrued in accounting and finance, such as the 15 years of working knowledge I have in profit and loss accountability. Human resource management, collaborating with people from different cultures, and strategic management of different companies acquired through mergers and acquisitions, are also all key requirements of my role.

Main work activities in your current role

I work as a Managing Director in an international company based in Amsterdam dealing with the Oil and Energy sector, as well as with industrial minerals. I Manage 3 legal entities (2 in Holland and 1 in the UK), and oversee operations such as safety, processing, distribution and shipping. I also supervise commercial marketing, business development and R&D. Furthermore, I maintain the financials and controllership, the supply chain and HR. 1 group CFO, 3 GMs, and 3 Senior Managers all report directly to me.

A typical day in your job

A typical job involves meeting with people who file direct reports to me, this involves a 1 to 1 or an all management meeting twice per month. I visit operations, including management safety visits, as well as visit key customers or suppliers. I also have to follow up monthly and annual targets; this includes, and is not limited to: safety and financial targets, operations excellence projects, commercial excellence projects, innovation projects and employee development.

Main challenges in your role

Managing people can be a challenge, as can achieving financial and personal objectives. Establishing an innovative approach across the whole organisation while increasing the value offered to customers, employees and shareholders is also not without difficulty, but is an extremely rewarding aspect of the job.

Why did this type of work appeal to you?

This role appeals to me because it involves leadership and innovation.

Advice for students looking to enter this area of work?

Being hard-working, having perseverance and remaining ethical are essential for advancement.