Amanda Rawstron brought her technical skills into play to juggle work, study and family life to complete an Executive MBA.
General Manager of Business Development & Solution Design, Kings Transport & Logistics
The reality of working in logistics is that it's very challenging and also extremely important.
How were you introduced to transport and logistics?
During VCE there were lecturers that would come and speak about their courses and there was a lecturer from RMIT who came to talk to us about logistics and transport management. He stood in front of a group of students in the room and said how am I going to explain this? He pointed to a box in the corner of the room, a very simple concept and said where did that come from? What was in it? How did it get here? And what is going to happen to it next? The answer to that is what drives logistics and supply chain. I was wowed. What a great concept, quite fundamental to everything that comes across our daily lives in such a way and I thought this is something I could spend my time and really get involved with. So I did some research on the course and applied and got into the Bachelor of Business Transport and Logistics Management.
What do you like about the industry?
I love the diversity and people. All of the different things that I get to do, it’s not just being in an office it’s also being in a warehouse. Talking to forklift drivers, talking to Chief Operating Officers, writing reports, process design, analytics, and looking at how things work locally and globally. So many different angles that keeps the mind going and I really love that. I’m also a very organised person, I like structure, scheduled meetings, dashboards, KPI’s graphs, like having definitions and timelines and milestone and deliverables which is very much logistics.
What are the challenges in the industry?
The challenges to logistics are ensuring that you meet service requirements; the end person who is receiving the goods and the price. So if you can relate it back to when you order products online, are you buying them from overseas, and are they shipped over? Do they come by flight, is it directly to you or a warehouse, can you track your goods? Do you get useability like that? Do you get them in the packaging? What’s the quality that you expect it to be? If you think about how all that happens it’s an enormous task with so many people, systems and companies all working together to make sure you get your package when you want it and how you want it. And that’s a huge challenge in logistics.
What did you enjoy about studying the Executive MBA?
When I was studying my Executive MBA, I was working, I was studying, and I was expecting my second child. I had a lot of good support from my family and you just put your head down and get it done and to do that I had to be very organised. So I’d work during the day and in the evening I would go to class, I enjoyed the classes, I made some great friends and a lot of the people were in the same situation. There was a lot of flexibility, on study load and opportunity in condensing subjects by going overseas. I went over to Vietnam and it was a really interesting experience, as Vietnam was just about to sign the free trade agreement with the US. We had guest speakers come in to talk to us that were involved in the signing and that was a great experience to have had.