Samuel Smylie

Business Process Excellence Specialist

MSc Project Management 2016

Tell us about your time at the University

After suffering from some major health issues less than a year previously, I returned to UWS in 2014 to undertake an MSc Project Management, for its industry wide application possibilities. I had no idea where I wanted to specialise and thought that having the skills and knowledge this course could give me was the best way for me to find my feet again.  I chose to return to UWS, because I felt that the university offered me so much previously during my BSc, and I want to be a part of the institutions future.

During my time at UWS, a worked closely with SAUWS in a partnership for supporting individuals through cancer journeys. The partnership was a success with several events being held for the charity which included a Christmas party and ball.

Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University

Since leaving university in 2015 I have graduated with a Distinction (2016) and very successfully began a rewarding career within the life science industry, beginning with Clinical Trials. This is where my project management skills became apparent, as I was hired as a Project Management Analyst, supporting Clinical Project Managers in the management and execution of small Phase I and large Phase III trials.

During my time as a project analyst I was fuelled by improvement and how to “do things Better”. This then shipped me to my current role as a Business Process Excellence Specialist with a global life sciences firm specialising in chemical and drug development toxicity based in Cambridgeshire.

My role is focused primarily on the organisational cultural change of implementing new and improved ways of operational scheduling, operational scorecard and performance measurement improvements. We are a small team of four trying to change the worldview of an organisation that has lead the way in its field, the challenge is complex, but the enthusiasm is there to make a difference.

If you could offer one piece of advice or top tip to current students what would it be?

Be patient, be persistent, and above all learn as much as you can, and find a mentor. Being a recent graduate or entry – level professional to the world of business, industry and commerce can be a daunting experience, a bit like when you started secondary school for the first time, but you will find that it won’t be such a rare occurrence for your more experienced peers to impart wisdom and advice on you. Take this or leave it but by all means ALWAYS consider it.

What is that drives you on in your professional life?

Improvement. As society as stumbled through industrial revolutions, credit crunches, austerity and crisis after crisis, those of us who can make small incremental improvements to the way we conduct business, and within our professional lives can only benefit the balance of progression and set back.

I see my role as a key driver in the modernisation of a company that focuses on scientific research, if these improvements can improve the way in which we enhance our understanding and knowledge of the medical science then I am prepared to give it all I have got.