Louise Lavaroni BA Business and Management 2001

Amazon has a very peculiar culture and has very particular ways of doing things. I am very proud to be an Amazonian and to work for arguably the biggest and best company in the world.

— Louise Lavaroni

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Business graduate Louise (Gilmour) Lavaroni is now based in Germany as Senior Program Manager at Amazon Fashion

Tell us about your time at the University

As a Paisley girl born and bred, it was a natural choice for me to study in my hometown. My intention was always to gain as much relevant work experience as possible whilst studying so that I graduated from University with qualifications, relevant work experience and no student debt. My time at Paisley (now UWS) was excellent. I have great memories of many days, nights and weekends spent in the library and one or two spent in the student union. There was a very international feel around the university with many of my class peers coming from Greece and all over Europe.

Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University

From an early age I have always had a natural ability to connect and network with people, coupled with a strong passion for business. When I was 15, I spent my week’s work experience at Rolls-Royce plc in Hillington (not far from the University). I loved my work experience and left wondering how I could possible end up in a large international company in the future. I studied a sandwich degree which allowed me to spend one year in industry gaining valuable work experience. As I had previously worked part time for COMPAQ Computer Manufacturing, an advertised sandwich placement for IBM seemed a natural choice for me. After my year in industry, I returned to finish my final course year and graduated in 2001 with distinction.

Upon graduation, I was determined to find an international company and get on their graduate programme. I applied for a few graduate programmes but the one I was determined to secure was Rolls-Royce given my previous impressions. The graduate application process can take some time so having applied a few months previously and not heard anything, I decided to search for a job. I responded to an advert in a local newspaper (showing my age) for a Finance Manager working in a Glasgow Honda Dealership. I passed the interview and was quickly offered the job. I was delighted, only weeks after graduation and I was walking straight into my first job. The General Manager could see potential in me and wanted to develop me further in the business so he sent me on an international Honda finance leadership course in London which I thoroughly enjoyed. My career was going well and then one afternoon my mobile phone rang and changed everything. It was a call from Rolls-Royce inviting me to attend their graduate assessment centre.

Long story short, I have been very fortunate to have a very interesting and challenging career that has spanned over 15 years with Rolls-Royce that has allowed me to travel all over the world as a Senior Aerospace professional. In 2017, after two fantastic years living and working in Berlin, Germany with Rolls-Royce my husband and I returned to the UK. We enjoyed our jobs but did not enjoy being back in the UK. In 2017, we took a bold step and left our jobs. I left the company I had worked for 15 years and we decided we wanted to move back to Germany but this time to the south to Munich. I remained in Aerospace for a further 18 months working for a Tier 1 Supplier in the Munich area.

In Nov 2019, I achieved a personal goal to write and publish my first book in an area that I am particularly passionate about – Leadership. The book is called Learning from Leaders and is available on Amazon.

In December 2019, I joined Amazon in Munich, Germany as a Senior Program Manager working in Amazon Fashion. My career has developed from strength to strength and I am now getting closer to my real calling in life. I work on strategic projects and love the fast-paced environment and culture at Amazon. The Amazon interview process is not easy. There is a reason they talk about hiring and developing the best. They really do mean it. Amazon has a very peculiar culture and has very particular ways of doing things. I am very proud to be an Amazonian and to work for arguably the biggest and best company in the world.

Alumni career advice

Learn subjects to genuinely learn and retain information and not just to pass exams.

What drives you on

I like to make a difference to the lives of the people around me by the work I do. This could be something as simple as developing them to reach their true potential or improving a process that helps them in their day to day work or sharing an improvement method or idea with them where I know they need help. Sharing is caring.

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