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Alumni stories

Staff profile
Alan Cooper

Alan Cooper

Managing Director, Carn Logistics Ltd

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Biography

​What made you choose to attend Leeds Trinity and what are your best and funniest memories from your time here?

I chose to study at Leeds Trinity because of the combined course of business and languages, with two periods in France - four months in the second year and ten months for the duration of the third year.  The funniest moments are plenty, but the best one was when all of the Leeds and Sheffield students had a party on the pole vault mat at Bordeaux University. This involved about forty of us jumping up and down all night - there was normally nothing to do on Sunday nights!

How do you feel your time at Leeds Trinity has supported you in your career and life more generally?

I really felt like we motivated each other to perfect our French in the third year and this then allowed me to get my first real post-graduation job in London. I was working for a legal company that represented all the French motor insurance companies with regards to UK based accidents.  This involved constant communication with our clients in France by phone and letter - there was no e-mail in those days.  Following on from this, I was able to get a job in management consultancy and I still practice the skills I learned both at TASC and from my role as a consultant in my business now.

Did you study abroad or undertake a placement?  If so, how did this benefit you?

Yes, it was a massive help in gaining confidence and eventually learning to speak French fluently. The four months in Bordeaux got many barriers out of the way, so by the time I went back out to France for the third year in September 1991, I was already confident and able to converse without fear of making too many mistakes. 

What three words would you use to describe Leeds Trinity?

Fun, fun, fun!

Can you tell us a little about your current role and your career highlights to date?

I am the owner of two logistics companies. One in Redruth, Cornwall employing 30 people, the other in Frome Somerset employing twenty three people.

My role is to oversee the entire operation and deal with key accounts. We are currently turning over £4 million per annum which is a ten-fold increase from 7 years ago, when I acquired the business.

I have many career highlights, the latest one was in November 2015 when I picked up an industry award for outstanding customer service and got to kiss Sharron Davies who was hosting the ceremony – I've always fancied her so this really made my day!

What advice would you give current students/recent graduates embarking on a similar career path?

Make sure that whatever you are studying is going to have a positive effect on your post University career.  I cannot believe how much debt students get themselves into these days so whatever course you are doing you have to make sure is the right investment in yourself, otherwise that's one hell of a debt to pay back if you do not use your degree to better your life.