Our Experience in the Room series continues with Margot Slattery, Country President for Sodexo in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland and a past participant of the MSc in Management Practice. She shares her story of how instrumental the programme was to her career and her organisation.
What is your career background?
My current role is that of Country President for Sodexo in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. I have overall responsibility for growth and development of the business here as well as for our 2,050 staff based in over 200 site locations.
I graduated as a trained chef from the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and began my career working several well-known establishments in Dublin and in London. I returned to Ireland in the early 1990s and joined a catering firm in Dublin that became Compass. I subsequently moved to a management position with Gardner Merchant which was acquired by Sodexo some years later. I returned to education and whilst working completed a degree in hotel and catering management in DIT Cathal Brugha St.
I have worked in a variety of roles such as a Chef Manager, Junior Assistant Manager, Area Manager, Operations Director and Account Director before becoming Divisional Director in 2009 and was appointed Managing Director in 2012.
In addition to my initial professional chef qualification, I hold a degree in Hotel and Catering Management from the Dublin Institute of Technology. I completed the Senior Executive Programme at the IMI in Dublin and I have just graduated from the IMI’s MSc in Management Practice in December 2015. I am planning to undertake a programme in Corporate Governance in 2016.
Why did you choose the MSc in Management Practice?
I chose this programme at the IMI because of the following aspects:
– Quality of the professional team who would deliver it.
– History and reputation of the programme.
– Validation with UCC.
– Ease of application with IMI
– Campus services such as Location/Facility/Academic support/ Library
– Ability to complete programme during my working week
What were the challenges?
The challenges were making time to attend and prioritising this, being present when attending, ensuring enough time for reading, assessments and course work, having the support from my team to enable me to be there. All of this came about by planning and prioritising and ensuring that they all knew why I was doing this.
What impact has the MSc in Management Practice had on your career?
The impact on my career has been huge. Firstly it’s made me think differently, I have become much more reflective as a leader and in my own interactions on a daily basis. Secondly, I feel much more empowered through my knowledge, tools and models for directing my team and business strategy. I have a super network of fellow colleagues who were with me on the programme and it was great to look outside my own organisation and study and analyse other industries.
What impact has the programme had on your organisation?
In my organisation it’s impacted greatly on ensuring a more value driven approach to our business, our pipeline and our processes. We are more focused as a team and working in a different paradigm.
What is your advice to people planning further study?
Firstly, my advice for someone contemplating further study is to just do it, don’t hesitate, once the bug gets you it’s hard to stop.
Secondly, to plan and ensure you give it the time and practical application it needs and to use it as a shared experience with your team and your executives but mostly to enjoy it.
Closing comments would be to learn and explore and push your personal boundaries.
Our Experience in the Room series continues with Margot Slattery, Country President for Sodexo in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
She shares her story of how instrumental the MSc in Management Practice was to her career and her organisation.