Adrian Samuels studied Geology at Swansea graduating in 1982. He currently works at HCL Axon as a Subject Matter Expert.
Why did you decide to study at Swansea University?
It was a good department and sufficiently far from home! I wanted a challenge and a big change from London home life.
What did you enjoy most about your course at Swansea?
I enjoyed the mix of theory and practical work. Geology is a wide-ranging subject and gives you a great grounding in all the foundation sciences.
What are you doing now career-wise?
Product Life-cycle Management / Project Portfolio Management Lead – EMEA, at HCL Axon. HCL Axon is a company that offers IT consulting services. I manage the UK capability in Product Life-cycle Management systems to enhance new product development. The scope is typically around reviewing business processes and implementing large-scale software solutions to enable significant business change.
Before moving into a career with IT consultancy, I worked in Information Management working with a number of companies including Price Waterhouse Management Consulting Services and The Institution of Engineering & Technology.
How has Swansea University and your course helped you with your chosen career path?
Swansea helped me realise that I could stretch and attain more.
What are the most challenging parts of your job?
As I move from one client project to another, one has to get up to speed with the new client’s issues and needs very quickly.
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
I enjoy the diversity of project work. I work in a broad range of industry sectors and a range of software solutions. Believe it or not, Product Life-cycle Management has many component areas.
What advice do you have for current students and new graduates?
It is important that you assess your target areas of employment carefully, from all aspects. You need a genuine enthusiasm for the subject and it should fit reasonably well to your personality. Also you need to be sure there is headroom in the profession to grow or at least that it is likely to be viable for some years to come.
What are your plans for the future?
To become manager of a larger team of specialists.
What have you done that you are most proud of?
I was an independent volunteer at the Tibetan Children's Village (TCV) School in Ladakh, Indian Himalaya. I have worked at the TCV senior school every autumn for 10 years through the 1990s and projects have included teaching English and teaching the use of Personal Computers.
Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing?
Since I was 12 I have enjoyed playing the drums and for the last 3 years I have become a part-time teacher. I enjoy listening to a wide range of music and have been in many bands, although I am no longer an active performer. I cycle but it’s much more casual now - the long tours including Israel in August and time-trialling are a thing of the past. I also have two children and much pleasure emanates from them.
What are your favourite memories of your university years at Swansea?
The Geology field trips, cycling on the Gower and performing as a drummer in bands
And finally, describe yourself in 3 words…
Sensitive, detailed, musical