Konstantinos Tsiougkranas – MSc International Procurement and Supply Chain Management graduate

Current employer: Hellenic Navy

Current job title: Staff of the Department of Public Accounting and Budget Execution

Current location: Salamis Naval Base

“The quality of the teaching in conjunction with the enduring support of the lecturers stimulated my interest in the course material and contributed significantly to the high level of my learning experience... Plymouth University provided me with all the necessary tools required to critically understand the complexity of the modern business environment. It also helped me discover new ways of thinking, thereby enabling me to improve my efficiency and effectiveness at work.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

After completing my postgraduate studies at Plymouth University, I re-joined the Hellenic Navy and was appointed as head of department in the Financial Branch of the Fleet Headquarters. Nowadays, I am responsible for monitoring the procurement operation of the subordinate Commands of the Fleet Headquarters and for ensuring the effective and efficient exploitation of the funds which are provided to the Hellenic Navy units in order to fulfil their mission. At the same time, I have also been given the opportunity to deliver a series of educational lectures to military schools on logistics and supply chain management.

Has your career path changed since graduation?

Yes. Procurement and supply chain management are both areas of utmost importance to the Hellenic Navy, especially now that Greece is plagued by a severe economic crisis. The masters course that I undertook helped me to expand my horizons by depicting how the modern business world works, the interaction between diverse organisations, and what prominent benefits derive from the adoption of supply chain management principles. My studies have definitely allowed me to view things more critically and have also motivated my research for alternative ways to optimise the efficiency and effectiveness of the entire Hellenic Navy supply chain. All this knowledge I have gained has already helped me to accomplish high levels of performance in my current position and I am sure that it will assist me further when I serve in the Hellenic Navy Supply Centre.  

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

The most difficult thing that I have faced during my career as a Navy Officer was the period when I had to stay away from my family and my wife for six months, whilst participating in a multinational operation with the Hellenic Navy. It was really harsh to be away from those I loved for such a long time. I was really concerned, because in case of an emergency I would not have been able to stand by them. Unfortunately, such multinational deployments happen regularly, and keep Navy Officers away from their families.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

There is no doubt that during my service on board warships of the Hellenic Navy, I have been given the chance to visit many places around the globe, meet and cooperate with new people, and gain unique living and working experience. However, due to the fact that my postgraduate course constitutes an integral part of my career in the armed forces, I definitely believe that gaining a degree from Plymouth University has been the most valuable catalyst in my career so far.

What, if anything, would you do differently if you could?

As I mentioned above, after completing my studies I had to go back to my country and re-join the Hellenic Navy. If I could do something differently, I would definitely continue my studies at Plymouth University and commence a PhD on procurement or supply chain management. Generally, the research being undertaken at Plymouth is at a high level and this provides you with the opportunity to enrich your knowledge and discover something new. I know that if I put the effort in, coupled with the guidance of Plymouth University teaching staff, I would be able to complete this task successfully.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Studying at Plymouth helped me in several ways, especially given that the majority of the modules were relevant to my current occupation. My studies enabled me not only to enrich my academic knowledge but also helped me to critically understand how the modern business environment operates, to identify the current challenges that decision-makers encounter, and acknowledge the benefits that stem from the implementation of supply chain management principles.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

The quality of the teaching in conjunction with the enduring support of the lecturers stimulated my interest in the course material and contributed significantly to the high level of my learning experience. Moreover, my family and I enjoyed our lives during our stay in the city. During the academic year, we went on many excursions and we enjoyed ourselves when walking along the Barbican and the city centre. In my opinion, Plymouth is a wonderful city in which to live and study.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Certainly. Plymouth University possesses all the necessary means such as modern facilities and scientifically trained staff to ensure academic fulfillment. Concerning my masters course, I have to highlight the fact that all seminars and lectures were very interesting. Moreover, during the academic year, the University organised educational sessions during which students had the opportunity to interact with specialists in issues related to the operation of modern supply chains, thereby enabling them to understand the multidimensional aspect and the application of logistics in the modern business environment.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

Personally, I was really satisfied with the learning environment that I experienced at Plymouth University. Plymouth University provided me with all the necessary tools required to critically understand the complexity of the modern business environment. It also helped me discover new ways of thinking, thereby enabling me to improve my efficiency and effectiveness at work. Despite the fact that the schedule was very demanding, I have to point out that only the personal devotion to your studies can ensure successful outcomes and adequately prepare you for the real world of the marketplace.