Careers in O.R.
Profiles - Victoria Forman



Victoria Forman

Job Title:   Logistics Analyst
Years in Current Position:        9 months
Organization Name:   Marks and Spencer
Qualifications:   BSc MORSE (University of Warwick)

Briefly describe the organization you work for.
Marks and Spencer, high street retailer in food, clothes and homeware.

How did you get your current job & what were the steps you took from graduation?
I am on the logistics graduate scheme, I applied for the role during my final year at university, the selection process was online aptitude tests followed by a telephone interview and then an assessment centre. I started in the role the September following graduation.

How relevant was your subject of study in securing your current job?
I think that the main benefit that my degree gave me in getting my job was the logical thinking and the way that I see problems and their solutions. I also undertook basic supply chain modules which gave me a grounding in the basic processes involved in logistics.

Describe a typical working day in your current job.
My current role is within change and communications for a large logistics project, which involves supporting the workstreams with stakeholder management and the creation of their communications plans and also helping to draft the communications. I am also involved in the mapping of current and new processes to create the change impact assessment for use in designing the training. Each day is different and I get to meet people from all areas of the project so I can get an understanding of how they will be impacted and what they are doing will impact others.

How do you use your degree in your current job?
The main skills that I use currently are logical thinking and problem structuring techniques, mainly the soft skills that are associated with OR, but also excel and VBA skills which are always useful whether you are analysing data or creating a questionnaire.

What do you enjoy/like most about your job?
My job allows me to get involved with the biggest logistics project within M&S and have a high level overview of all the aspects that are involved in the project and also get to meet all the people involved.

Which skills do you consider to be essential for your job?
The soft skills such as communication and time management are the most important in allowing me to achieve what I need to.

What influenced your career choice?
My degree was the main influence in my career choice, I really enjoyed the problem solving, but also that in logistics you can use all the skills both the hard and the soft and see something tangible at the end of the project. I chose a graduate scheme as there are many more opportunities for learning within a graduate scheme, more training courses and opportunities to try different roles and learn skills that I might not have had the opportunity to in another job.

Any advice you may have for other individuals considering your career path
I would urge you to apply for graduate schemes as early as possible; I started applying for jobs in the October of my final year. I would also recommend a graduate scheme because of the extra support and opportunities that you are given as a graduate. Finally I would advise you not to worry about whether your first job is the thing that you want to do for the rest of your career, take everything that is thrown at you and take all the learning and development opportunities, as it is this that will help you to realise what it really is that you want to do and you will have learnt a lot along the way.


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