Hanna studied BSc International Management with a year abroad in Beijing and Sydney. After university, she moved to Dublin, and now works as a Sales Program Manager at Dropbox. In this blog, she talks about the values that influenced her career choices.
At the age of 18 I had a formula in my head when searching for a university that roughly went “not where my parents live + highly ranked + international + varied course options”. Looking back, I suppose the ambition and drive for independence was quite obvious. But it was studying and working amongst different cultures where I really developed curiosity and empathy towards different ideas. I studied BSc International Management at Warwick Business School and as a part of that course I spent a year abroad. Having that international experience really inspired me, it also very much affected how I then approached academia and my career. Approaching problems by acknowledging there are different perspectives helps you experiment and evolve your results. Humbleness and listening to others does not mean you cannot stand by your convictions but makes you a more compassionate leader. Whenever I need to make choices such as where to work, I take these values into consideration and know that they need to be met by the employer/company.
WBS offers exactly what a curious and driven person needs.
You're surrounded by extremely clever and motivated people from all around the world, both students and staff, who will inspire you and push you to always look just that little bit further. There is this sense of proactive creativity at WBS that I found (and still find) exceptional. The courses are cutting-edge, there are a range of class formats, and you can spend a year abroad either studying or working. It also goes way beyond the course. Your colleagues lead or initiate social clubs and they start up enterprises with each other. “The bubble” as Warwick has been referred to previously, is not a closed and quiet sphere but more like a hive of never-ending activity. This is the WBS experience that really stuck with me and I go straight back to that feeling of inspiration when thinking about my time at the business school.
The WBS Careersplus team really helped when it came to preparing my CV and job searching. The careers service provided lots of workshops to help you formulate your career goals and developing practical skills like efficient job searching online, submitting applications, or doing practice interviews. The service really helped to boost my confidence and it's still relevant to me now as I have career conversations with my own managers.
In my current role, I work in optimising large scale sales operations. The job is both to improve internal processes as well as thinking about how we sell and reach our markets. You could say that it translates the theory of everything I studied at on my undergraduate course at WBS into practice. In a way, I am managing a small business within a large organisation: I need to take market, financial and people aspects into my decision-making process and be able to come to a decision to lead with. From my studies, I have definitely kept with me the structure for approaching complex problems by looking at multiple facets and drawing from different experiences. Now that I also have to interview people myself, I cannot stress enough how much of a natural conversation driver it is when a candidate has clearly done their preparation and thought about how their experiences and goals and are able to match those to the role they're are applying for. All areas that the careers team helped me with when I was at Warwick.
That being said, I would be lying if I said that I knew exactly what I wanted to do after graduation. While I was very inspired by all the people I had met in the last four years and attracted to so many stories, I found it difficult to pick one specific industry or business area to become the dream job. So I took a moment to circle back to what was important to me: growth driven by learning. I found a company that works by these same goals, helping clients consult thought leaders and topical experts in order to make informed decisions, and achieve business growth. This helped me a lot, as in the process I also learned about a variety of industries and their market trends. The tech industry attracted me for the ambition to create impactful change in people’s lives, but also for the open-minded work culture I saw where variety, sharing and collaboration are treated as keys to success. Again, I followed the cues that matched my own beliefs.
Overall, I would say that my biggest learning experience regarding career choices so far has been understanding and sticking to what I believe is important to me. Writing this piece has made me reflect a lot on how I have progressed within my career since graduating and I hope that this will also inspire you to take a moment to think about what matters to you when planning for your own future.
You can find out more about the undergraduate course that Hanna studied here.