In 2015 José Ramón Quintana, Demand Planner at ROCHE and ZLOG alumni, successfully recommended the MIT Zaragoza Master of Engineering in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (ZLOG) to Lucía Milián, current student of ZLOG program from Spain who was working in Germany as a Design Engineer before joining the program.
Lucía, how did Jose Ramón convince you to leave Germany and join the ZLOG program? Was it an easy decision?
Lucía’s answer: When I met Jose Ramón I had been working in Germany for two years and the idea of extending my education studying a master had been swirling around in my head for a while.
I wanted to study a master which would expand my understanding of the overall management of a business organization from planning to execution, but I hadn’t yet found the right one.
The first day I met Jose Ramón and the other ZLOGgers living in Basel, I had the opportunity of getting to know more about this program first-hand and I found it fascinating.
After this first contact I managed to get some more information searching online and asking Jose Ramón and other ZLOGgers, who never failed to give me clear, motivating and valuable information.
It wasn’t an easy decision as it implied a huge change. However it combined two of my personal goals: first-class education in Supply Chain Management together with the opportunity to return to Spain.
Taking into consideration the vast opportunities and doors that will open as far as employment is concerned, what are your expectations for the future?
Lucía’s answer: I think that Logistics and Supply Chain Management are key aspects in business leadership and constitute a field of future opportunities.
My expectations for the future are to take full advantage of this opportunity and develop my career in one of the many management disciplines of the Supply Chain.
José Ramón, as a result of your ZLOG qualification you have held the position of Demand Planner at ROCHE (Basel, Switzerland) since June 2014. And you are not alone! The pharmaceutical company has recruited 15 ZLOG alumni from 10 different countries to date.
Are ZLOGgers making a difference in their positions at ROCHE? Can you outline any specific achievement that is as a direct result of the experience and knowledge gained on the ZLOG program? Are the results encouraging?
Jose’s answer: ZLOGgers bring an important knowledge in Supply Chain and a dynamic attitude to any company, always striving to apply this powerful education to generate value. Within Roche I have found a real recognition of the value of the ZLOG program thanks to the great job done by the previous alumni who joined the company. The fact that the company has so far hired 15 of us and maintains the close relationship with the ZLC is in itself a very important achievement. We are working hard to keep this up!
And your current project? What specific area of demand planning are you focusing on that is both innovative and revolutionary?
Jose’s answer: I am not sure if it can be considered “revolutionary”, but I am working on a project to improve the forecasting accuracy while simplifying the demand assessment process. The approach is based on a structured graphical presentation of data and the definition of clear rules to facilitate the decision making for the forecasters. This way we can have a clear and unified approach that can be adapted based on the specific needs of each market. Working within a global scope and with a lot of people makes forecasting really challenging.
Basel seems to have become a popular destination among ZLOGgers. More than 20 alumni are established in this city located in northwest Switzerland on the river Rhine. How’s life for an expat in Switzerland?
Jose’s answer: Life in Basel is great. Having such a big ZLOGger community helps with the setting in process a great deal. It is a city with an international atmosphere and lots of possibilities. In summer you can swim in the Rhine or just enjoy a barbecue with friends on the banks of the river. In winter, of course, there are the wonderful, world-renowned ski resorts to enjoy, not forgetting the numerous other winter sports, such as hiking or mountaineering. Switzerland is not only famed for its majestic landscape and winter sports; culture vultures will surely not be disappointed, with opera, ballet and festivals throughout the year. Geographically-speaking, it is extremely accessible: in less than two hours you can be anywhere in Europe.
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