Japanese, Russian Studies
David studied Japanese and Russian Studies at Leeds and is now a senior compensation consultant with Shell. He was inspired by travel while at university and has gone on to take up various human resources roles around the world.
What is your current profession?
I am a Senior Compensation Consultant with Shell
Describe your role.
I advise a number of countries on their pay practice, and review their terms and conditions to ensure we are competitive with other companies in that country. I cover about 30,000 people.
Describe your career progression.
From Leeds I went back to Japan on the JET scheme, working in a local government office supporting foreigners in my area of Japan. I then came back to the UK and studied Public Administration including HR. From that I went in to Marks & Spencer on their Graduate scheme as a HR trainee. Over the last ten years I have had various HR roles in M&S, DTZ Debenham Tie Leung, and Shell. Most of my roles have been international in nature and I have worked/lived in Finland, Belgium, Russia and Japan. I travel frequently with my work, mostly the US and Malaysia. I should soon be going to Nigeria which will be very different.
What did you do immediately after leaving University?
Straight into the JET scheme in Toyama, Japan.
What did you do whilst studying that helped pave the way into your chosen career?
Travel was the key thing spending a year in Japan and 4 months in Russia as part of my course, and mixing with a large variety of people. I was the Russian Society President for a year which also got me ready for a management role.
What skills and attributes did you develop as part of your course?
I gained communication skills, survival skills, the ability to mix with very different people, and an awareness of some parts of the world. My time at Leeds gave me great confidence and a good network.
What skills and attributes did you develop from your co-curricular activities?
Participating in co-curricular activities has given me confidence and good communication skills. I have the ability to deal with different people and survival skills from travelling.
What advice would you have for students studying today?
Enjoy the time at Uni to the maximum. Travel as much as you can, but in order to meet different people. Ensure where possible in your studies there is both academic and practical – try to come out of uni with some practical experience that interviewers and companies like. Having a degree is great, but what you have done with your time at university will be more important in the end.