Interviewed May 2014
Grant graduated with a BA in Business Management in 2012 and is now Global Operations Project Manager for Dräger, an international company specialising in safety and medical products and technology. Here’s what Grant told us when we caught up with him over Skype following his recent move to Dräger’s offices in Germany.
Tell us a little bit about your current role at Dräger
Well, Dräger’s guiding philosophy is ‘Technology for life.’ This philosophy is at the core of the brand. Every day we live up to that responsibility by putting passion, knowledge and experience into improving lives, alongside outstanding and innovative technology that puts life first. It describes the standards we set for our day to day work.
My role here is Global Operations Project Manager which involves the monitoring, directing and managing of all operations related projects within Region Europe, such as analysing the current operations footprint. Having operations facilities in the correct locations depends upon things such as logistic costs, lead times, labour costs, employee skills, future market trends and customer requirements. As you can imagine it’s a particularly challenging role! You need to be aware of all possible outcomes to any proposals. However, it’s also extremely rewarding.
What attracted you to study at Sheffield?
Things that attracted me to the Management School and to Sheffield were the accreditations of the school, the whole Red Brick reputation of the University and the fact that it has one of the best student unions. An important thing for me was to be able to take part in extracurricular activities such as societies and internships, and it was also great to be able to meet such a diverse group of fellow students whilst at Sheffield. How would you sum up your experience of studying in Sheffield? It was the perfect blend between rural and urban life, an environment that will suit all of your needs.
What do you remember most about your time at Sheffield?
My internship at CADS (creative arts and development space). CADS was a socially responsible organisation, providing workspace, primarily for the production and development of local artists and craftspeople across the creative and digital industry. My internship was part of a University based scheme looking at subsidising local companies so that they could hire University of Sheffield interns. My role within CADS was to create a business plan that would be used to acquire a £20,000 loan from the bank.
This was the most challenging project I was involved with at the University. It was a chance to put the theory I had learnt into a real life situation – tailoring my skills to the requirements of the business. Something I’m probably the most proud of.
What are the highlights of your career so far?
Being successful with all of the projects I have been given through sheer determination and hard work. Luckily, I have been rewarded with a move to Germany – which is currently the highlight of my professional career so far.
Would you say your degree helped you with your career?
Absolutely – even though I may not use all of the theories that I learnt in my every day work, what I am using is the process of researching all of the necessary topics, and then choosing the framework that best suits the needs of the project in question. This process of researching, analysing and decision making has certainly helped me in my work! And what are your plans for the future? To continue my work with Dräger and I’m looking to build my knowledge and understanding of all business processes.
As a former student, do you think it is important to stay in touch with the Management School and University?
I do yes. But I think it’s a two way street as well - I think it’s such a positive thing to be able to be involved with activities at the University and Management School as an alumnus and to be able to give something back to the place that helped me get where I am today.
And what do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to read and play tennis and squash. I’m also brushing up on my German skills in an effort to understand more about the German culture and to help with my recent move here!