Graduate turns guest lecturer to share Nestlé career insights

Date 29.07.2021

University of Northampton graduate, Lionel Sankara, recently returned to the virtual classroom recently to share his career insights, working for global food and drink giant, Nestlé, with current Marketing students.

Lionel graduated from UON in 2014 after studying International Marketing Strategy. After graduating, Lionel returned to Burkina Faso, his home country, where he spent two years working in media and marketing agencies, before joining Nestlé in 2016.

After several promotions, Lionel recently became Category Manager Coffee for the Savanna Cluster (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Togo, and Benin). In his current role, Lionel develops the overall strategy for the coffee category including new product development to achieve sustainable and profitable growth.

Lionel gave a virtual guest lecture for current University of Northampton students, sharing his insights into what it is like to work for the world’s largest food and drink manufacturer, Nestlé, as well as sharing his student journey and career highlights.

Lionel credits the University of Northampton with helping get his career off to a good start, he said: “I enjoyed my time at the university, I believe the skills and experiences of studying in the UK played a major role in getting interviews early in my career, especially in the companies where English language matters.

“The content of the International Marketing course was extremely relevant and up to date with the latest industry developments, which meant I was more knowledgeable than my colleagues who studied in African and French universities.

“The lecturers were very supportive, and in particular very attentive to international students and non-native English speakers, supporting us to achieve our goals, and to fully participate in the programme. The library and the access to a wide range of materials were also appreciated.”

In his guest lecture, Lionel urged current students to embrace university life. He said: “Take all the courses of the programme seriously, it will provide you with good foundations to understand business environments holistically. Make sure you take full advantage of the library and its databases to deepen your knowledge about what you’re discussing in class. Finally, invest the time in building your network, on and off-campus, grasp the extracurricular activities and opportunities you can to support you to develop leadership and interpersonal skills.”

Visit the course pages for more about International Marketing Strategy.