Mark Riddell Graduate Manager Ulster Carpets.
Describe your role and responsibilities.
The Graduate Management Scheme induction process provided me with an excellent overview of order development and how Ulster Carpets operates on a daily basis. Having finished induction I was assigned to the Operations section, where I am currently working on a production project aimed at improving efficiency in the weaving process. Alongside this project, I am involved in production planning providing work packages and associated information to the weaving section. This is vitally important in ensuring projects are completed on time and is always a juggling act.
What attracted you to Ulster Carpets?
I researched Ulster Carpets and was impressed by the size and reputation of the company. During the interview stages I was given a factory tour where I saw the emphasis on quality and the work that goes into providing customers with both an excellent product and level of customer service. The opportunity to play a key role within a market leading global company, straight from university really appealed to me.
Tell us about your typical working day..
Although every day is different I am continually developing my knowledge of the production process. My role in production planning requires a significant amount of communication with the different design departments in Portadown and the USA, ensuring the correct calculations are provided for production.
In terms of the production project there is an emphasis on me to be proactive and identify opportunities where the processes and efficiency’s could be improved. Once an area has been identified I work alongside the production teams to gain an understanding of the process and the practicality of implementing changes.
What qualities are required for your job – personal and professional?
Personally you need to have a strong work ethic, be motivated and have a willingness to learn. Professionally, strong communication skills and the ability to work in a team environment are vital, my role involves coordinating ideas and working with other members of staff, so building relationships is very important. You also need to have excellent organisational skills, to be able to manage the range of tasks that need done every day.
What are the biggest challenges and rewards of your work?
Personally the biggest challenge is that I am continuously learning the manufacturing process and understanding the impact a small change can have further down the process. The biggest rewards are meeting and working with new people, who are passionate about what they do and motivated to provide an exceptional product & service to the customer.
How has your degree & career background helped your current role?
My degree and career have provided me with a strong background in teamwork, working with like minded people to achieve common goals; alongside this I developed strong communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to lead people and effectively communicate a message to different audiences. Balancing work and study at university instilled a strong work ethic and a motivation to do things to the best of my ability.
Tell us about your education & qualifications.
I have a Batchelor of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice from the University of Ulster and have also I gained a Sales & Account Management Certificate from the Institute of Leadership & Management. I am currently working towards a Business Certificate from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
How do you spend your spare time?
Most of my spare time is taken up playing rugby for my local club, and I am also learning to play golf. Aside from sports I have a keen interest in the stock market.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I took part in an ITV sports entertainment show called Let’s Get Gold in 2012, we had to complete a routine showing the entertaining aspects of our sport. Unfortunately we didn’t get voted through to the final, but it was a great experience!!!
What inspires you most in your life?
My parents inspired me to work hard, do my best and be grateful for everything I have.
Want to know more about graduate careers at Ulster Carpets? Check out our stand at Queens University Graduate Fair from Tuesday 20th – Thursday 22nd October. For more information head over to our Facebook page.