Paul is a Senior Lecturer and has been a member of the teaching faculty at the school of business for nearly 25 years. As an academic, Paul is on his second career, having previously followed a successful path in retail management. A desire to change career to one that focused on people development led him to embark on a full time MBA at Birmingham University. While he had really enjoyed the hands-on trading in the retail environment, and the development work with staff, his work was taking him further and further away from day to day operations, and into number crunching and analysis. Paul's verdict on a radical mid-career change is that it is “a tough decision but the best thing I ever did – a real life-changing process”.
Paul started engaging in consultancy work while doing his MBA, using the income to cover his fees. He combined this with some part time teaching at Loughborough University, and then began working with Surrey University as Industrial Liaison Co-ordinator to deliver distance learning degree courses for managers with no formal qualifications. Paul was later to become more involved with Loughborough University as External Examiner for the MBA programme over a five-year period.
Paul found that he loved teaching and eventually arrived as a full-time lecturer in Retail Management at Oxford Brookes in 1994. Paul has taught most areas of retailing, with a focus – perhaps not surprisingly - on the supply side, product management and global marketing. In the Marketing department he was the programme director for the undergraduate retail degrees for seven years, while also teaching on many undergraduate courses and on the MSc and MBA programmes.
Paul has had more than ten years’ experience developing and leading MSc programmes more than three years of which also included responsibility as Head of MSc Programmes for the Business School. These are one-year full time taught courses for graduates of business and other disciplines, and most of these programmes enable graduates from other subjects to ‘convert' to a postgraduate business degree.
Paul was heavily involved for many years with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, as educational adviser and former chief examiner and senior assessor on their Graduate Diploma in Purchasing and Supply Management. As a member of the international faculty at the Ecole de Management, Grenoble, he has taught international marketing to MBA students on programmes in Grenoble, Moscow and (in-company) in Saudi Arabia. Paul has also led MBA courses in Marketing Principles and Global Marketing as a visiting lecturer at Birmingham University in addition to leading such modules on the Executive, full-time and multi-mode MBA at the Business School for more than twenty years.
Paul was for many years a member of the training faculty of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and as a Course Director for the CIM led many residential and in-company courses in Profitable Product Management, Retail Merchandising and Project Management for marketing and retailing professionals. This experience was also put to good use in designing and running residential executive education programmes for the Business School.
Paul originally studied Physics and Chemistry at Salford University but was not inspired by the subject – apart from his dissertation, which was not in science, but in sociology. On graduation, he joined the executive training scheme at C&A. By the age of 23, he was deputy manager of a large London store and heavily involved in buying and marketing operations. Spells as a senior merchandiser of a fashion chain, with stores all over Europe, and at The Burton Group, where he worked in most of their subsidiary companies, gave Paul an excellent insight into business to business as well as business to consumer relationships and the operation of the supply chain. He continued to build his career, working in senior and board level positions for a major high street retailer, an international jeans company, and as a general manager in a menswear retail group, and ended as divisional trading manager at British Home Stores (BHS).
Paul sees his role as “to create real choices” for his students, to add value to their experience at Oxford Brookes, and to add value to the experience of colleagues with whom he works.