The KBS Employability Alumni Spotlight series connects you with KBS Alumni working in a wide variety of sectors across the globe. Reema graduated in 2011 and now works in Procurement for a start-up consultancy, working with an impressive portfolio of luxury goods, retail and SME’s from around the world.

 

When did you graduate and what course did you study?

I graduated from University of Kent in 2011 with a Degree in Business Administration

What was your favourite thing about your time spent at the University of Kent?

Overall, University of Kent has a tremendous amount of facilities and opportunities to take full advantage of, this is something truly unique about the University of Kent. Kent taught me a lot outside of the classroom when it came to learning how to deal with many different personalities and backgrounds, being such a diverse University with a global footprint really brought together some of the fundamentals required when working in today’s world. Kent Business School was heavily involved in several programs on campus that built up students’ confidence on preparing yourself to enter the corporate world, the dedication from the staff, lecturers and alumni students have really followed me throughout my journey in the corporate world.

What was your first graduate role and how has your career progressed?

I was extremely fortunate to start off in what I had already called my “dream job”, this was marrying my desire to work in the corporate world and my love for fashion together. I started with a placement straight after my last exam in my final year at Burberry Head Office in London as their Commercial Procurement Analyst, not knowing anything about the corporate world as this was my first ever job. Fast forward to today, my Burberry placement played a crucial role in how my career evolved along the way; meeting some of the most incredibly talented individuals from around the world led me down some paths I probably would have shied away initially. My placement allowed me to learn how the corporate worked, gave me an opportunity to learn and make the mistakes which ultimately built up my professional character to take along my careers journey.

I realised Procurement was an extremely exciting department to work in, so I ended up staying in Procurement but moving around to different organisations in various industries. Eventually I reverted back to where it all started, and today I am fortunate to be a key player of a start-up consultancy that’s has gone from strength to strength, working with an impressive portfolio of luxury goods, retail and SME’s from around the world.

Can you briefly explain your role on a day to day basis?

Every day is completely different which is what makes it so exciting. I have a lot of clients working on different time zones and on different projects, so it keeps everyday full of excitement and challenges.

What do you most enjoy about your job?

Fortunately, I have managed to pick a profession and an industry that I love, and genuinely there are so many to list out. But the best thing about working in a start-up consultancy is the having the exposure to work alongside some of the most talented and key industry players in the luxury goods and fashion world, you really do get to see your efforts drive the best outcomes for the organisations.

How has Covid19 affected your sector?

COVID-19 has undeniably had a significant negative effect on the luxury industry; however, it’s also encouraged emerging trends to evolve quicker. Business models immediately needed to be re-evaluated and organisations tried all efforts to navigate through so much uncertainty. We have helped a number of clients along the way, but we see this as an opportunity for the industry to change how things have always been done.

Do you have any advice for graduates looking to get into a similar field?

Firstly, be clear about what you really love. Take every opportunity to learn the insights on how the reality of the industry works and start exploring the different types of roles available, this may seem a bit circuitous at first, but you will gain an understanding of what’s out there and may consider roles that you wouldn’t have typically thought of.

Reema is happy to connect with current KBS students and alumni via LinkedIn

Reema is currently recruiting for a Sales Associate (Graduate) position. Location: working from home. 18K starting salary, plus bonus (OTE35K). Email G.Witts@kent.ac.uk for further details.