Case study

Chloe — Graduate controller

Nissan Manufacturing

After studying BSc (Hons) Mathematics at Northumbria University Chloe got a job as a graduate controller at Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK (NMUK)

How did you get your current job?

After the second year of my degree I was able to do a year in industry and was lucky enough to be accepted onto NMUKs placement scheme in operations management. During my final year at university I worked part time at NMUK, once the application process opened for the graduate programme I applied straight away and followed the process through to the end. I was accepted a couple of months after the interview and started my new role in parts control in September 2015.

How relevant was your subject of study in securing your current job?

Having a mathematics degree shows employers that I am logical, hardworking and good at problem solving, this is the same for many other degree subjects.

Describe a typical working day…

Once the normal daily jobs have been completed, the fun really begins; we constantly have to react to concerns raised by multiple departments and suppliers, it’s very exhilarating and rewarding however you do have to be able to work under pressure and react quickly. If we aren’t in the office we could be anywhere in Europe on supplier visits, in one week I was in France, Germany and Cranfield.

How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions?

Originally I was responsible for local suppliers who were minimal risk to the plant if anything went wrong, now I am responsible for 14 suppliers, the majority of which would stop the line if they could not supply parts.

I now also have responsibility for project work with my suppliers, holding meetings and setting targets for suppliers to ensure they are on target to meet NMUK’s requirements.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I love the unpredictability, the fact that I could walk into work one day with a plan in my head and then there could be a major breakdown at a supplier and I have to drop everything and head over there. It’s a very exciting role and constantly pushes you out of your comfort zone.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

The people. They are key to the success of any business, and in the case of the suppliers they are key to the success in parts supply to NMUK. We also work a lot with material handling and production. People are not the same as machines, they have emotions and limits, you have to be flexible in the way you approach them with different problems or you won’t get the response you need.

What are the best things about working in this sector?

The challenges, the job security, the people, variety and the quick pace. I’m a person who needs to be constantly pushed in order to keep my brain active and engaged and as this sector is constantly expanding and changing it offers that to me.

What advice would you give to others who would like to get into this career?

Be open to new opportunities which you may never have considered as flexibility is key. Never turn down an opportunity, you never know where it may take you, I originally applied for my placement at NMUK as I just wanted a placement on my record, but then after a year at NMUK I knew that was the career I wanted.

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