A quick chat with Jonathan Garnham, JCB
Jonathan, 34, from Derbyshire, is Director and General Manager of JCB’s diesel generator business, Power Products. He graduated with a BSc (Hons) Agricultural Engineering with Marketing and Management and is currently a Harper Adams governor.
Tell us a little about your career since graduating
I have been given a host of opportunities to develop my career. In my current role I’m responsible for running all areas of the business including sales and marketing and accountable for the profit and loss statement to the board.
What do you enjoy most about it?
“I love making a difference, growing the business and developing people.
Do you think being a graduate made a difference to your position and salary?
I was fortunate to be a sponsored undergraduate at JCB so being a Harper Adams student certainly opened the door for me.
What skills/experience was your employer looking for?
Attitude is 95% of what JCB look for - having a ‘can do’ attitude and the ability to get things done with a sense of urgency is a key skill.”
As an employer, what makes our students attractive to your business?
Harper Adams students always have the desire to succeed and make things happen. They are practical and work hard, whilst retaining sense of humour and being very sociable. The university was a great grounding for me both academically and practically.”
What advice would you give to students interested in a similar career?
Work hard, focus on the right things, listen and enjoy what you do.”
Why did you choose to study at Harper Adams?
The reputation, friendliness of the staff and students at the open day, and the job prospects upon graduation.
What were the highlights of your course?
The atmosphere within my cohort, the lecturers and the placement scheme. It provided a practical perspective of the world and how to apply the theory to real life.
Tell us a little about the projects you worked on.
We worked on array of projects including creating a marketing and sales plan for existing products into new markets and evaluating the feasibility of establishing a new tractor rental business. These are exactly the type of exercises that happen in the commercial world.
What did you do on placement?
I spent my placement at JCB working across all aspects of the business from research, through design, development, production and sales and marketing.
I learnt about the business, what all the functions do and how they interact. It certainly enhanced by career opportunities. The JCB placement is superb; it gives you a taste of business before you have to do it!
What do you think of the teaching at Harper Adams?
Friendly and approachable, the staff relate well with the students.
And the facilities?
Excellent and bespoke to the range of courses the university offers.
Why would you recommend Harper Adams?
The atmosphere is excellent, the courses are designed for placing you in the real world and the links with industry are second to none.