Interview – Michelle Harries

After completing an NVQ in Computing, I joined the company in 1998 working as an operator in the factory at CKLL. After three months, an opportunity came up in Research & Development for an administrator’s post where I was responsible for releasing drawing modifications and general office duties. This gave me a real insight into the company and how it worked so after three years I decided to enrol on a HNC Business and Management course to improve my prospects within Calsonic. The company fully supported me through my two years of study and encouraged me to go on to a BA Hons degree in Business and Management, which I studied alongside my full time job.

While studying for the degree, I applied for a Cost and HR Administrator’s position within the R&D department, which I got, and I spent seven years looking after budgets and any HR issues within the team. In this role, I was able to apply the skills that I learnt on my degree. I have recently been promoted to R&D Controller, which means that my main responsibilities are looking after the R&D budget, promoting CK Way within the department and motivating the team.

I’ve been extremely lucky during my 14 years with Calsonic. The company has given me many great opportunities and helped me progress my career to the job that I do today. I couldn’t have worked full time and studied to achieve a 2:1 degree without the support of the company. I’m part of a fantastic team and even get to visit our Japan headquarters later this year to see how they operate and learn more skills, which I plan to implement back in the UK.