John Pike

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Manufacturing
Job title: Global Product Marketing Manager
Subject of study: Mechanical Engineering with International Study
Year of graduation: 2016
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Atlas Copco

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I worked for 2 years in a small engineering firm before transferring to Atlas Copco to work in R&D. I stayed in that part of the company for 3 years, enjoying expanding my knowledge, learning and developing my skills, and building my professional network. I began an MBA which allowed me to leapfrog the usual career progression path and moved into the Marketing function in a different Business Area within Atlas Copco. I am now the global Product Marketing Manager for Pneumatic Tools and Professional Air Treatment, based in Italy (where I studied abroad).

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I initially wanted to become a senior figure within the engineering field but soon realised that I was more interested in how businesses worked and became better than other businesses. This led me to expand within my role as an engineer, and eventually to starting the MBA. In my current role, I love that I get to work in a multicultural environment, on hugely varied projects, travel (even in COVID times) and really feel like I’m moving the company forward.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

Most significantly, I ran the Formula Student team in my master’s year, having been a part of the team every year since it began (2012). From a society point of view, I started MotorSoc (Motorsport Society) in 2012 as a fresher, and was re-elected President twice in my four years of study (only my third year on Erasmus was there another president). I was also Vice President of the Italian Society, Events Officer of NERFSOC, and during my second year I was also the Soc Exec Outdoor & Adventure Representative. Finally, I enjoyed my time within EUCC – although I was never a good enough cyclist to represent the Uni!

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I enjoyed every part of the course – it was bloody tough, but it was so rewarding. Particularly I enjoyed Philippe Young’s and Gavin Tabor’s modules (Materials and Fluid Mechanics). I only really realised the extent of the high standard of education that I received when I entered the workplace, despite working alongside many clever, accomplished engineers, I was proud to be able to say that my knowledge was grown at Exeter.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

It was a mix of the learning environment, the high standard of both students and tuition, and the setting within Exeter and surrounding Devon that really made Exeter one of my favourite places. If I had to pick one thing, it would be the feeling of purpose that I gained through supporting so many students in the Formula Student, MotorSoc and Italian societies, as well as occasionally within the Engineering cohort when we were given some particularly tricky coursework!

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

It was a combination of the high standard of teaching and the loose parallels I could draw to my home of North Wales – the surrounding rolling (and stunning) countryside really helped me settle in during my first year.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

1) Application of knowledge is critical. The Formula Student team taught me so many things that an academic course never could.

2) Study abroad – this opened my eyes and made me realise how judgemental people can be when they simply don’t encounter other points of view. Don’t jump to your usual opinions straight away – ‘wear different hats’ to understand other people’s actions.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Get in touch with me and I would be more than happy to talk (and listen) to you. If what is written here is even remotely inspiring, do give me a call. It would be a pleasure to support wherever I can.

What are your plans for the future?

I am going to continue to expand my knowledge within the traditional workplace and then go it alone on a series of business ventures – the first of which is just experiencing its first encounters with the big wide world!


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