Country of origin: United Kingdom
Head of Operations, Clive Christian Perfume (London)
The degree which Isabel studied, BSc Operations Management, is no longer available. It has been superseded by BSc Business Analytics and Consultancy.
I started work on the 4th of July at John Lewis head office in London Victoria and am working as a Merchandising Administrator in the Tabletop department. My responsibility is to look after all glassware items for the dinner table, so glasses (obviously), jugs, glass plates, glass cake stands, etc. It is quite a big department so I've certainly been thrown in at the deep end!
Merchandising is part of the buying offices at John Lewis, but whereas the buyers are responsible for the creative side (choosing the right product, deciding how branches should lay it out) merchandisers deal with stock levels, ie. making sure that the stock is in the right place at the right time and in the right quantities. This requires a lot of number crunching and working with spreadsheets which is right up my street – and I've already made a lot of use of my knowledge from the Spreadsheet Modelling for Management module.
I also have to take responsibility for forecasting each product and all the ordering (just to give an idea, for one month alone I had a budget of around £2m) as well as making sure the supply chain is running as smoothly as possible, which is where the operations knowledge comes in. Ensuring efficiencies within the system is also crucial, so I have put myself forward to run a project in the department to improve all the links in the supply chain and reduce the time it currently takes to get our stock into our main distribution centre.
I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed my time at Lancaster, both in terms of the University itself and the surrounding area, which is a great place to be. And I am so glad I picked my degree course. It was certainly right for me, and has given me opportunities I hadn't even thought of when I started. The quality of the teaching justified the Management School's reputation – and it's a place I would definitely recommend to anyone.
Isabel has since moved to a new role in operations management for a London-based perfume company.