A Day in the Life of Harry Turpin ’13 Postgraduate diploma in Event Management
Meet Harry Turpin, Export Sales Manager at Cawston Press, and Glion alumnus who graduated in 2013 with a Postgraduate diploma in Event, Sport and Entertainment Management. Discover his career path and insights about life in London, UK through this interview by the Glion Alumni Chapter in the UK.
What brought you to the UK? How long have you been here for?
I was born in London and lived in a town called Tunbridge wells for most of my life. I moved to Switzerland to embark on my studies and ended up doing an Internship with OC sports based in Vevey. 2 Years in Switzerland was a fantastic opportunity, but I missed the business and fast vibe London has to offer.
What was your first role after graduating?
Having completed my Internship in Sales and Marketing I moved to a company called Reed, and worked on the International Golf travel market. I quickly realized I wanted to be a part of a small startup business whist pursuing my passion for brands. This is where my move to Cawston Press came in. I have been here for 2 years now and thoroughly enjoying the world of FMCG (fast moving consumer goods).
Tell us about your current role and summarize it in 3 key points?
I am now working as Export Sales Manager, managing the International sales for Cawston Press. Cawston is a Soft drinks company with the mantra aiming to be “the saviour of soft drinks.”
- Strategy is key for export: which countries to launch into whilst keeping the brand aligned with what we are doing in the UK? We have launched in to 14 countries within Europe and the Middle East. By far, the most interesting one was the US… More to come!
- Market visits are very important: visiting my distributors is a big part of the role and making sure we are aligned, driving growth and maintaining relationships with key markets. It goes without saying that with a travel involved you need to be on top of your diary!
What is your typical day in the office?
We have only just moved in to an office and for at least a year we were working in a flat above a pub in South Kensington. I get to work from home a lot which is great, flexibility is key to productivity. Whilst my hours are set I work a few evenings as well due to time difference in different markets. There is a lot of analyzing involved in the role, monitoring what markets are working and where we should invest heavier. Day to Day is difficult to describe as my role is so varied. Working for a small company is amazing as you get so much exposure to the overall company. Export has allowed me to really tuck in to not only sales but in marketing, logistics and production.
Does your current role match the professional life you imagined having when studying?
I have always had a passion for brand building and whilst my studies were in Events Management, the course allowed me to gain transferrable skills which I now most certainly use on a daily basis.
What are the key changes you see in your role in the next 5 years?
I see my role growing with the brand, we will be hiring more people for my team and growing in key markets in Europe especially. UAE is big for us and that will become a big focus for me. Depending on how quickly the growth happens, I envisage a Cawston press office in central Europe. I am also very keen to start my own brand in the future.
What are the 3 key trends in your industry right now?
- Sugar is a big one, a lot of brands are moving to stevia (sweetener)
- Water is a big one too, lots of brands are innovating in this category. We have seen the rise of Coconut water over the past couple of years and the next thing in this category is infused and birch water.
- Craft Soft drinks are another important trend. Consumers want a brand they can trust and with the rise of social media are now able to really relate and engage on a personal basis with brands. The corporate companies are being caught out and smaller brands catching up. It is fascinating to attend food and drink trade shows just to see how much innovation there is within this industry. I crave a fast moving environment, and working on a small brand really gives me that kick.
How would you describe your perfect day off?
Pub garden with a group of friends, drinking some English Ale! Maybe a cheeky barbeque in the evening?
What is your favorite place in London & why?
The 02 in Islington, it’s where my band had our first gig.
The Glion Alumni network – what does it mean to you?
The Alumni network is incredible; it’s part of the reason why I went to Glion in the first place. Having friends and contacts all over the world has not only opened my mind to the opportunities worldwide but given me a black book of business contacts.
What have been the highlights of your Glion Alumni life in the UK so far?
The gatherings have been great, and the ambassadors do a fantastic job organizing such a large group of alumni. The Alumni gatherings are a great way to get to know other past students and share experiences. There have been lots of tasty sandwiches and a good few beers too. The help and support the “Glion Spirit” creates is mind blowing, and tapping in to that business network is fantastic.
Top tips for the current Glion students who are planning to move to the UK?
- UK especially London is brilliant: fast paced, hustling lifestyle and opportunities are endless.
- Reach out to the Alumni, you will be surprised how helpful and supportive we can be.
- Take a job even if it isn’t exactly what you want to do but it is in the right industry. Once your foot is in the door it’s up to you to progress the way you want to. Every journey starts with a step. Be bold, jump in head first.
Finally, what will you do tomorrow? What’s next for you?
I am off on holiday for 2 weeks to Greece for some well earnt rest bite. As I mentioned earlier I have aspirations of creating my own brand one day and putting what I have learnt into practice. I would like to move to California at some point as well to experience one of the largest markets first hand.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Every Journey starts with a step. My father told me this when I was younger, itching to move on with my career and run before I could walk. Take every opportunity that comes your way and mold it into the way you want. Be friendly on the way up, you never know who you will meet on the way back down.