Anand Patel

"MMU allowed each of us to remain individual without having to sacrifice the passion and quality of education"
About my career

As part of the BSc (Hons) in Food Technology Management, I completed a placement at Better Tasting Snack Foods (BTSF) in Uttoxeter. A placement in a small company gives you more access and opportunities to learn about how an organisation works as a whole; it is a great insight into seeing the bigger business picture.

I started working at the Royal College of Nursing as soon as I graduated, in the Research and Development Department. I signed up with an agency and landed the temporary position, and ended up being kept on for just over a year.

MMU taught me systems and how to juggle many topics, subjects, people and groups. The core of any successful leader is to understand time management, action management and people dynamics. It is these organisational skills that I rely on, on a daily basis. As technology advances, the theory of food technology changes, but the organisational skills learnt at university can be and applied to work (and your personal life!) and make you a more efficient employee.

Living in Zimbabwe is very different from life in the UK but it has taught me to be resilient and flexible. I started running a small factory with no fax machines, no computer, no printer – pretty much nothing but a pen and paper as an office and then worked my way up , learning about ISO Management systems and protocol. I now travel for six months and work for six months: a wonderful work/life balance.

Team building is an essential tool in the workplace, and I recommend students make the time to build personal connection with those in your team. If you want to be a leader, then you’ll need to focus on personal development and remember to inspire others to aspire to more than they thought they could achieve. This is how leaders create the leaders of tomorrow.

My top tip for students is…

Don't limit yourself - a 9–5 job is one form of making a living. You can be self-enterprising and start something up, or you could get a 9-5 job and then build your fortune, your own business from 5-9!

I’m inspired by…

Dr David Fuller - he always smiled at me when I came up with crazy ideas and had faith that I would be the best I can be… an amazing man with a good heart.

Why I love Manchester Met

I loved the energy on campus because it was welcoming, and allowed each of us to remain individual without having to sacrifice the passion and quality of education.