Our day in the town of Redditch near Birmingham, UK, was made up by tours of offices rather than shop floors, but this made it no less interesting to us. The offices was namely the head offices of the whole GKN Group and we were there to meet Andrew Harvey and Marisa Kismul, SVP HR for Aerospace and Director HR for Engine Systems, respectively, as well as Scott MacKintosh, Digital Communications Officer.
Our meeting with Scott was interesting as he was reasonably newly employed at GKN with experience from the video game industry and therefore shared many of our experiences from starting to work within a large industrial company. We talked a lot about some IT problems that have emerged within the group as GKN in a relatively fast pace have acquired companies all over the world and what solutions and features we would like to see as Scott now has been appointed the overall responsibility of digital communications. We also talked about GKN’s presence in social media and what plans there were to increase it. A nice surprise was that Scott had read our blog and wanted to promote it throughout the GKN Group, since it was a unique example of successful external communication!
The meeting with Andrew and Marisa was also very rewarding and it was nice to see that there was such interest in the five of us and our graduate program in Trollhättan from the GKN Aerospace top management. Andrew and Marisa spoke about their careers and things they had learned along the way, but we also talked a lot about the setup of our graduate program and the differences and similarities there were with other graduate programs within the GKN Group. Just as with the IT-systems, there are many different graduate schemes within GKN, of which some have been inherited from new companies being incorporated in the group. In this, there are of course possibilities for improvements with, for example, increased exchange between the programs, which sounds good to us!
After our visit to Redditch, we steered the car towards Filton for another GKN site visit.