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Case Study: John Nathanaelson

Personal details
Degree:MA Hons Management Profile picture
School(s): School of Management
Year of Graduation:Jun-2012
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: Rolls-Royce
Job title: Operations Management Leadership Graduate
Occupational Sector: Purchasing/Supply Chain
What has been your route to getting your current position?
During my final year of studies I applied to various industrial companies, of which I interviewed with a couple but quickly realized that Rolls-Royce was the best fit for me. Mainly because they invest so heavily in their graduates offering abroad placements and exposes you to different areas of the company and therefore allows us to develop a holistic perspective and breadth that is incredibly valuable. Also, I am fascinated by the markets that company operates in, including aerospace (civil and defense), marine and energy (not the automotive industry that so many believe!).
What does your job involve ?

My job responsibility will differ over the coming 30 months as I will rotate every six months between roles and places. Each rotation will offer a new challenge that will stretch me on every level!

Currently I am working with Supply Chain Planning and Control for turbines, a stressful but rewarding job that will push me out of my comfort zone due to my lack of experience within the area. However, given the support network we receive as well as the encouraging culture at the work place, I feel confident to adopt the responsibility and make mistakes in a safe and protective environment. But believe me; you will have responsibilities that will affect Rolls-Royce business from day one!
What are the best bits of your job ?
The people I am working with are incredible, always offering support and challenges. Also, being part of the process of delivering excellence to our customers, to know that I have been part of the process of keeping people safe in the sky or supporting electricity to the city of New York is a truly amazing feeling. The travelling is also a huge upside for me!
Why were you successful?
I prepared massively for my interview, read up on the company as well as the relevant position I applied to. It is also important (if you apply to the leadership scheme) that you have some sort of leadership experience. Other than that I advise you to be social, honest and passionate during your interviews! In the end it’s about fitting well in to the company and show leadership capabilities in order for RR to invest knowledge, time and resources on you. Therefore your knowledge is not as important as your passion for the field you’re applying to.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
My management degree certainly honed my analytical skills which are important to whatever industry, company or position you apply to. There are also certain courses that I took which have been beneficial for my initial time here, such as strategy modules offered by the School of Management.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?

If you want to work for a company with a long standing tradition of constantly challenging technological status quo, Rolls-Royce is for you. My advice is to be passionate, driven and ambitious, and to display that in your application as well as during your interviews. You will be given various different projects to work with alongside your daily tasks, which will impact the business. You will also be encouraged to improve processes and hopefully even come up with ideas that may change how business effectively is done! People will listen to your suggestions from day one, everyone is approachable!

The social life is amazing and follows in style with that of St Andrews, always different networking events or pub crawls going on (even a couple of balls!).

I can highly recommend you to apply- it is a truly fantastic workplace!