Philip Cole

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Consumer Product Strategic Analyst, Bank of America

As an undergraduate I pursued my interests in the areas of Physics and Geology, studying Earth and Planetary Sciences at Kingston University. It quickly became clear that a career in this field would require many years of academic study and I was more interested in getting into work. I had to decide the best route to a career path that would suit my abilities and interests. The MSc in E-Business and Innovation at Lancaster was a perfect fit for me. I had always enjoyed working with and talking about technology and new innovations in technical fields and very much needed to get to grips with the business applications of this technology.

The programme itself was highly rewarding. I found the assignments greatly increased my awareness of many contemporary issues in the e-business sphere. Many assignments were team based. This is one of the great strengths of the EBIN programme, working and learning from your classmates. I found that I had many opportunities to learn new things from those who had studied a different academic discipline and had had a range of experience.

The experience of working as a team during the various assignments in the taught element of the course proved invaluable during the three-month organisational-based projects in the summer. I was part of a team working for SITPRO, the UK’s International Trade Facilitation Agency. We were researching the effectiveness of the current e-systems that handle the flow of documentation requirements within the international supply chain. The scope of the project and the tight time constraint meant that it was impossible for an individual to complete the project on their own. The various issues were also interrelated and required extensive discussion and debate, something impossible to do outside the team environment.    

During the programme I became very interested in business strategy and intelligence, topics covered in modules such as Information Management and Strategy, Innovation and Technology for E-Business. Technologies for data capture and data analysis have advanced considerably in recent years allowing for strategic decisions to move from a largely intuitive process to a more data-focused and informed practice.

This led to my initial role as a Junior SAS consultant with Base3 Systems, a consultancy firm specialising in SAS solutions. I was working with MBNA Europe as a data analyst and was able to combine my business knowledge (provided by the E-Business programme) and my SAS training, to inform data-driven business decisions. I have since moved on to work for Bank of America in the UK as a Consumer Products Strategic Analyst.