Senior Delivery Station Manager, Amazon LogisticsKaren Fitzpatrick

Why did you pick the University of Strathclyde as an institution?

At the time it was the best in the Scotland for Engineering and 4th in the UK.

Why did you choose your programme?  

I actually started studying Product Design Engineering as Graphic design and Maths were my favourite subjects at school. However, after 2 years in the course, I found that my skills were actually better suited to MEng Engineering and Enterprise Management (a course offered at the time), so I switched course easily after a discussion with the department, as we did the exact same first 2 years. This gave me flexibility that other courses don’t offer.

Play to your strengths, your working life is a long time so make sure you’re doing something you actually enjoy.

What was it like studying in DMEM?

The department was up to date with technology, and the space was always welcoming and constantly getting updated to be a positive learning environment.

It felt like home. It was really welcoming, and some of my best friends today are those that I met in my time in DMEM.

What key skills did you learn as part of your studies?

Group work was a really positive experience and allowed me to learn how to work with others that might be very different from myself. That coupled with group and individual projects in industry allowed me to build enough experience to land a great graduate job with Proctor and Gamble straight out of University.

Where has your career gone since you have left?

I left university and worked for Proctor and Gamble for 5 years manufacturing perfume in Newcastle, my roles there included Process Engineer, Operational Project Deployment with Engineering, and Line Leader managing 2 production lines.

I then moved back to Glasgow and worked for McVities manufacturing Medley cereal bars running production lines as a Team Manager for 2 years.

I took a change in career path and moved to Amazon Logistics to become an Operations Manager in Glasgow, after 15 months I was promoted to Delivery Station Manager in the same building which I did for 3 years, I have been promoted again and moved to Doncaster to become a Senior Delivery Station Manager.

In this role my organisation has up to 250 people a day working in my building, dispatching thousands of parcels to customers over a large geographical area.

I love that all of my roles have combined technical work with people.

I have now found my perfect role, leading managers to become the best they can be, and delivering the best service to our customers.

I was really proud when I was asked to be the lead UK trainer in Amazon UK for the Woman’s Leadership Programme last year. I am also a Diversity and Inclusive Leadership trainer, and through these 2 courses I am able to develop people throughout the country working in operational environments, and this gives me variety in my day to day role.

For those inspired by your career path, what tips would you share for someone wishing to pursue a career with a well-known competitive brand?

Get industry experience or experience in a professional working environment, leading sports teams, or a society.

As an employer and hiring manager, I value real life experience above getting 100% in a test.

What are some of the benefits and limitations of working for such reputable brands?

You need to be location flexible, and it’s best to be aligned with the company values.

Get with the right company, not any company.

I feel really proud to be/have been an employee of these brands, I really believe in what we do. Sometimes the hours can be long, but I really enjoy my job, so it all makes it worthwhile. People can judge you, some people love the big brands, and some people hate them.

Working for a large company also means large teams, which means we can have fun.

What are your ambitions for the future?

I want to continue to enjoy my job, and come back to Scotland in a similar role in the future. I never look too far ahead, as Amazon changes so much you never know what can happen!

What excites you about the future of technology and manufacturing?

How we can help people do their job easily.

We can now track a parcel through every step of its journey to the customer, we know every pair of hands that touch a parcel, the next step is to make it easier for our employees to handle every parcel and make it safer for them to do so, how can we keep people safe in their work environment every day?!

If you could tell your 18-20-year-old self some advice, what would it be?

Enjoy yourself, university can be stressful, but work hard when you need to, and get out and about around the world in those long summers, you don’t get as much time off once you’re working full time!

Don’t get in too much debt, get a part-time job and pay your way through.

What would you say to someone considering studying in or working with DMEM?

Welcome to the family.