Jack Chatwood

Certificate of Higher Education in Leather Technology

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  • Course studied: HE Certificate of Leather Technology
  • Year of graduation: 2021
  • Current job title: Global Automotive Wet End R&D
  • Current employer: GSC Group
  • Industry sector: Chemical
  • Pronouns: He/ Him
Why did you choose your course at UON?

Once I had decided to pursue a career in Leather, the University of Northampton was the clear choice – with their brand new ICLT building, complete with a full tannery, chemical and physical testing labs, along with a microscopy suit.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most and why?

I really benefited from studying the theory alongside the practical aspects of the course – I found this a great way to learn.

How do you think your studies have helped your career or personal development?

Studying at Northampton has helped to a build a solid knowledge of all key aspects within the leather industry. Whilst studying here you’re exposed to a wide variety of industry experts, who regularly visit the University to run workshops and to deliver lectures.

Describe your career progression so far, and any plans you have for the future.

I’m now working as part of a team in Arzignano, Italy, focusing on trials and development for the automotive sector, specifically the chemicals used within the tanning and retanning processes. My job so far has enabled me to travel to several different countries including Argentina, Korea and Slovakia.

Which, if any, skills and knowledge/understanding gained on your degree are most useful in your current role?

The course gives you an ability to practice your presentation skills, which is very useful for my job, as it’s a big part of what I do. You also gain access to a wide variety of resources, that are not only useful during your course, but also in the real world.

In one sentence, what advice would you give to undergraduates interested in this career path or anything you wish you had known earlier?

If you’re thinking about studying leather, this is one of the best places in the world to go. Not only is the course and the staff fantastic, but you also get the opportunity to meet great people from all around the world, who you will probably then see again throughout your career in leather.

In ten words, or less how would you summarise your UON experience?

A great place to learn and expand your network.