James Belshaw - Purchasing

James Belshaw

Geology and Physical Geography, University of Edinburgh

I worked in the team responsible for critical, rotating components in aeroplane engines. On my first day I was given a supplier to manage, which represented a spend of over £20 million over the next three years. This included running cost reduction workshops, writing and implementing a supplier engagement plan to improve the supplier's quality, cost, delivery, management and technology performance and working with the supplier to source new parts for future engine programmes.

I worked directly for a Business Development Executive, to deploy some new technology into the supply chain that will reduce the costs in one of the business units by 25-50%. It was really good to work on a project that is going to have such a big impact on the business, and give Rolls-Royce a competitive advantage over its competitors. Working closely with the executive was a really good experience. I learnt a huge amount about Rolls-Royce and was given some really challenging objectives to achieve.

Working at Rolls-Royce gives you opportunities to work across many different sectors - civil aerospace, marine, nuclear and defence, working on many different types of products. I really enjoy working with teams all over the world. All of the teams I have worked in have been excellent - you feel like a valued member straightaway. Senior leaders are genuinely interested in the development of graduates, and go out of their way to ensure you get the right attachments.

Rolls-Royce really believes in empowering its employees with education and training. Rolls-Royce has paid for all my exams and study fees for the professional qualifications that I am studying for, to become a member of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply. In Purchasing there is a tailored training programme to get you up to speed as quickly as possible.