Logistics dynamo lifts student award and secures graduate job

Date 22.05.2018

A University of Northampton student has bagged a prestigious logistics award and a graduate job at a major UK logistics company all in a matter of weeks.

Charlene Turpin, who recently completed an MSc in International Logistics, showed that balancing studies with a heavy workload pays off when she was awarded the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Student Award at the Northamptonshire Logistics Awards (NLAs).

Charlene followed up the award win by being accepted onto a graduate scheme with Clipper, one of the leading UK logistics specialists, based in Northampton.

Charlene completed her degree whilst working part-time as a contracts and finance administrator at Imperial College London and volunteering for charity.

Charlene said: “There were times when I found balancing my studies, a part-time job and volunteering to be a real challenge. Particularly as I was working three days a week in London in quite a busy role and commuting to Northampton twice a week to attend lectures.

“But to be awarded Student of the Year is an amazing honour and confirmation that all the hard work and late nights were worth it. It makes me glad that I embarked on this journey.

“I am really excited to be joining the team at Clipper, its reputation in the UK speaks for itself and the skills I will gain there will be invaluable for my future career in logistics. “

A passionate humanitarian, Charlene completed her dissertation in West Africa. She studied the impact of poor transport infrastructure on women in rural agri-food value chains in the Central Region of Ghana.

Charlene hopes to combine this passion with her future career in international logistics. She said: “I have a passion for humanitarian issues and in particular supporting vulnerable women. I spend a lot of my free time volunteering as a trustee for a small East London charity called Women on the Frontline Ministries. As I develop a career in the logistics sector, I hope one day to be able to utilise my knowledge and skills to make a tangible difference to the lives of people in need both in the UK and overseas.”

Although the past year of studying has been intense, Charlene paid tribute to her experienced University tutors, for helping her to get over the line.

She added: “Overall, I found the University to be really supportive of working students. There were times when work was crazy, and the University allowed me to have an extended deadline for assignments, which enabled me to submit work that reflected my true ability.

“Most of my lecturers have spent several years working in the industry before becoming academics, so they were understanding about the demands and pressures of working life.”

NLA winners were announced at a high-profile awards ceremony in April, organised by the Northamptonshire Logistics Forum. The forum is facilitated by Northamptonshire Growth Hub and the University of Northampton and made up of logistics companies county-wide.

Tony Bellott, Chair of the Northamptonshire Logistics Forum, said: “We are so proud that our third Northamptonshire Logistics Awards evening was the biggest and best to date, with more categories, more entries and a superb range of finalists. The stories we heard reflect the innovation, talent, success and achievements of individuals and teams, and will encourage more young people to think of logistics as a career option. It really was a truly inspiring evening.”