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Kate Walmsley

Career Path: Future Leaders Graduate, DHL Supply Chain
Location: Darlington, UK

I was first inspired to work in the logistics industry based on the global supply chain management module I studied in my Masters. Before this, I had no prior knowledge on what career paths were available to graduates in logistics. After some research, I discovered the Future Leaders Graduate program at DHL Supply Chain. I wanted to venture into a different career path, as I previously worked in retail and I wanted a new challenge. Naturally, as I enjoyed studying global supply chain at university, I developed a passion for my role at DHL. I feel a purpose and responsibility in my job and enjoy what I do.

What are you doing now?Kate Walmsley

Currently I am working on-site at an Argos Sainsburys home delivery warehouse. I have had the opportunity to rotate across different departments and roles. I have found this is a fantastic way to develop in my role, and to get a great insight into the wider business.

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

My first impression of Northumbria University was that it was friendly and supportive. This is what I wanted for my university experience and I felt Northumbria lived up to that expectation.

What was it like studying at Northumbria? 

I found my University was different to what I imagined, but in a positive way. The challenges I faced during my Masters, encouraged me to think critically and be confident. I enjoyed the variety of workshops, seminars, lectures and group work. There are incredible lecturers at Northumbria who have supported me and pushed me academically and I am very grateful for their feedback.

How connected was your course with industry?

I found the course was connected and challenging. I remember meeting local guest speakers at our seminars and I found this inspiring and made our classes engaging.

What was the best thing about your course?

The group work was very important for my individual development. I felt working in a team was critical as it shaped me into the leader I am today. I’ve worked with lots of students across different ethnicities and backgrounds, above all, this has taught me the importance of tailoring my communication. I found this very beneficial for my current career.

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

Studying a Masters gave me the knowledge and scope to take on a graduate role. I didn’t feel prepared to enter a career once I finished my undergraduate degree, however, this changed when I studied my Masters as I needed to be independent and work on my confidence. I believe this prepared me for my current graduate role.

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

Communication skills are very important in my role as I manage a team. My knowledge gained from each business model has significantly helped with my career, as I have a foundation of knowledge to support my role. Lastly, the skills I acquired from writing my dissertation has been particularly helpful with interviewing skills supporting me in my current role. Also, to think critically is very important for my job.

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

The networking opportunities and group work.

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

Push yourself to take on as many opportunities as you can. Also, you can only compare yourself to you; so work as hard as you can and you can achieve anything.

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

Challenging, exciting  and engaging.

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