Portrait photograph of: Xavier Montel

Xavier Montel

Country Of Origin: France

Degree: MSc Politics, Philosophy & Management, 2015

Sales Graduate, Herman Miller

The Politics, Philosophy and Management degree has been fantastic from the beginning, and this Master’s was my favourite academic year ever.

I particularly appreciated the way our teachers immediately gave us a sense of importance, and treated us as their peers rather than their students. They made us understand that we were part of something special: a pioneering course that brings together disciplines that have been too often artificially separated.

The ‘Production of Managerial Knowledge’ module gave us the theoretical tools that were necessary to bring politics, philosophy and management together. This was extremely rewarding when I used management concepts to approach politics essay topics from a different angle. Politics lecturers repeatedly said that they had never thought of issues in that way, and that they found my essays interesting and challenging. Again, that made me feel like a peer rather than a student, and this empowerment pushed me to work harder, as I finally felt that my work had a purpose.

I am still in contact with my course mates, and I regularly communicate with this year’s cohort. There is a unique sense of community around the PPM Master’s, because we are all convinced of the inherent virtues of our approach to the social sciences.

During my Master’s degree I was appointed as the Assistant Dean of Grizedale College. I dealt with disciplinary matters within the College, which was a good way to prepare myself for professional life. The appointment also improved my CV significantly. Lastly, it provided a chance to observe what I was learning about organisations in a real life setting. This kind of activity is very important to complement academic learning, and I would encourage everyone to get involved in whatever interests them. It makes the whole University experience a lot more rewarding.

The fieldwork for my dissertation took place at a waste management company in France, where I had worked before. The main benefit for me was learning how to complete a project which spanned several months. Essay writing is a short process, but the timescale for my dissertation was completely different. When I joined my current company I was handed projects with different timescales, and the experience that I gained when writing my dissertation writing has enabled me handle them effectively.

When I was 18, I left the seaside city of Nice in southern France to study for 3 years at Lancaster University. The fact that on completing my undergraduate degree I chose to stay for another year rather than returning to my sunny home really shows how much I enjoyed Lancaster. This city and University hold a special place in my heart, and Lancaster will always feel like a second home to me.

I now work as a Sales Graduate for Herman Miller, a globally recognised provider of furnishings and related technologies and services. As mentioned above, my dissertation experience has helped me to deal effectively with long-term projects. My Master’s in Politics, Philosophy and Management really gave me an edge in the job market, because I was able to prove I am a ‘big picture’ kind of applicant, and thus a future decision maker. It also showed that I am multifaceted, and capable of performing within many different disciplines. I started in my new job exactly a month after submitting my dissertation; I found job hunting surprisingly easy.

The business world is very different from the academic world, and I still have a lot to learn. However, my Master’s gave me a deep understanding of how organisations work, and provided me with the acumen needed to understand the dynamics around me, and thus to fit into my company.