Katie Styler graduates from the University of Worcester today with a degree in Business Management, and a newly-found appreciation for the humble prawn.
From day one in the Worcester Business School, Katie was fascinated by what makes some organisations succeed, whilst others fall by the wayside. In her second year, Katie was awarded a Federation of Small Businesses scholarship, in recognition of her dedication and entrepreneurial approach. Indeed, she certainly worked tirelessly to maximise the opportunities available to her throughout her degree, taking up the option of working a year in industry to gain practical experience and enhance her expertise.
“I worked for a year as a buyer in the export office of a local seafood processing company,” said the 21-year-old. “It was a fantastic insight in to the working world, and I had the opportunity to learn all about the industry, from seasonality and forecasting to price wars. My sandwich year really helped lend a strong foundation of practical experience to the things I was learning about in the classroom.”
What was it about the University that drew Katie to choose Worcester in the first place?
“I looked around lots of universities when I was applying, but when I came to an Open Day at Worcester it was by far the most friendly feeling, a real home from home, and I knew straight away this was where I wanted to be,” she said.
“Originally I thought about moving to a university a long way from home and trying something completely new, but my dad pointed out that I could study in Worcester, have my own life away from home, but still be close enough to pop home when I needed to. This turned out to be great advice: moving out but staying close gave me just the right balance of independence and support.”
On the future, Katie said: “I’d like to do a masters in Leadership and Management. I’m interested in whether you are born a leader or can become one, as well as the ways in which different leadership styles – laid-back, more autocratic – can work in various business settings. There’s no ‘one way’ to be a good leader, but what are the factors and how do they play-out in different settings? That is what interests me now.”
“But I also enjoy my work. I have continued to work for the company where I spent my placement year, and I really enjoy the challenge of my job and the culture of the company. Every day is different, which I thrive upon. Who knew there could be so much complexity in selling a prawn?”