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Ian Miller

Career Path: Operations Director, GEM Partnership
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Following graduation, I moved into recruitment in 2003 as Commercial Consultant for Kelly Services managing an ad-hoc desk and a volume account. I joined Tate as Operations Manager at their Newcastle office in 2005 and was then appointed Branch Manager for the Tees Valley region for the NRG Group in 2006.

I moved to Premium People in 2008 as Head of Commercial with responsibility for launching the commercial brand across the North East and was then part of a management buyout of Premium People Recruitment in the summer of 2009, which created GEM Partnership. Recruitment was not an initial deliberate career choice but I quickly 'felt at home' in the industry as it is very people-focused and requires versatility with no two days being the same.

What are you doing now?

I am Part-Owner and Director of GEM Partnership which is a recruitment business based in the North-East of England. He is responsible for strategic and operational decision making across all facets of the business as one of four board members. Outside of this employment I act as a mentor for budding entrepreneurs in association with Northumbria University.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

The Open Day I attended was instrumental in my decision as it was very welcoming compared to other intuitions I visited. The placement year in industry was also very appealing as I felt this would offer a point of difference on my CV versus other graduates.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

The balance of lectures, seminars, team projects and self-study time was excellent. Academic staff were accessible to offer support without being overbearing.

What impressed you most about our academic staff?

Academic staff were accessible to offer support without being overbearing.

How connected was your course with industry?

My placement year was very connected to my course; my course did lack guest lecturers although I don't feel this was 'missing.'

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/give your career an edge?

The combination of independence in terms of living away from home and the responsibility to manage workload without day-to-day intervention from the University provided me with invaluable skills which stood me in good stead in my career.

What was the best thing about your course?

The placement year and meeting individuals who are now lifelong friends.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

The work ethic I forged in my placement year undoubtedly was the most telling factor and I have carried this throughout may career.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

There were very few aspects of my time at Northumbria University that I did not enjoy - meeting people was a fundamental part of my experience and, again, I refer to my placement year.

What advice would you give somebody who is thinking of studying at Northumbria?

Attend the Open Day - it will crystalise your thoughts and allow you to ask any questions you might.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Current, leading and dynamic.

For more information about me visit:

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