Richard Howells (BSc. Computer Science, Hons, 1986) recently got in touch with the Alumni Relations office, after a call went out requesting to hear from our alumni who are currently living internationally.
Richard, who is originally from Pembrokeshire, has been living in the USA since 1994, but has travelled extensively around the world since graduating. We caught up with him to find out more about his high-profile role as Vice President of Solution Marketing, at SAP– one of the largest enterprise software companies on the planet.
Richard originally came to the University of Glamorgan because his father had encouraged him to take up a career in something that he saw as the future of employment and the labour market. After graduating, he got a job as a programmer working for one of his lecturers, in a small software company in Cardiff. He then moved into supporting and implementing systems in large manufacturing companies which started him on the road to getting in front of customers and travelling. From there, he says he ‘has never looked back’.
Richard describes his role as being responsible for helping to drive the market direction of SAP’s Supply Chain, Manufacturing, R&D and IoT solutions. He regularly speaks at events, writes articles and blogs on sites such as Forbes.com and the Huffington Post. He's presented in events and conferences in 4 different continents in places such as Australia, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa and all over the USA.
He goes on to explain: ‘I started as a computer programmer where I developed business software to manage manufacturing plants. I then started to implement the software all over Europe, which is a great way to see the world, and to save money as you are usually getting all your meals and hotels paid for! This also gave me the opportunity to move to my companies headquarters in Boston, USA, where I moved into a role where I was actually designing new software systems. I eventually moved into marketing, positioning and messaging solutions to our customers around the world.'
Richard includes getting published and identified as an expert in his field amongst his greatest achievements. He goes on to explain that being published and excelling at public speaking are particular successes for him, as he was never strong at English and was always the last person to volunteer to step out in front of the class.
When asked about his motivations, Richard highlights helping other’s to solve their business challenges. He describes how all of the jobs he has undertaken, have a problem solving element. From writing programs, to implementing systems, to designing new systems. They all make somebody’s job simpler and easier to do.
We asked Richard to explain what’s next on the cards for him, professionally:
I am always looking for the next challenge. I am really into social media at the moment, and am working on how to leverage this more for my company and our customers. Technology also intrigues me, and I am currently focusing on how the potential of the Internet of Things can be maximized to the full in business.
Finally, we asked Richard for his recommendation for resources or networks that might be useful to someone just starting out in his profession. He highlighted the importance of keeping in touch with classmates and alumni, as your University network is the most valuable thing you will have going forward post-graduation.
We in the alumni team couldn’t agree more!
Do you have an interesting story to share about what you’ve achieved since finishing your studies? Get in touch with your words of advice for current students and recent graduates.