Around the world in 12 days

In July this year, Milly Novakovic took a break from her busy role as a shipping manager in Italy, to journey to Hamburg and attend the KLU’s International Summer School in Supply Chain and Logistics Management – a decision she says she’s very glad she made.

Milly Novakovic had done her research. The sea operations manager was looking for a course to advance her professional skills when she came across an advertisement for the KLU’s International Summer School "Supply Chain and Logistics Management" in the International Trade Journal (ITJ).

“I wanted to improve my knowledge from a theoretical point of view, particularly with regards to logistics management and supply chain management,” says the 32-year-old, who works for shipping firm Samer & Co in Trieste, Italy. “I saw the school advertised in the ITJ and thought the program looked very interesting.”

Born in Serbia and raised in Italy, and with a background that includes a degree in Marketing, Advertising and Communication and a stint working in accounting, Novakovic went online to investigate the KLU and its program further. She liked what she saw. “I also knew that Hamburg is one of the best cities to study this subject because of its position and importance as a port,” she says. “And a number of our business partners are also located there.”

Once signed up, Novakovic joined 17 other business professionals from places as far-flung as Germany, Ghana, South Korea and Indonesia in Hamburg in July to embark on a program of theoretical study, practical exercises and excursions spanning 12 days.

The course’s eight modules, delivered by a collection of international lecturers, are designed to introduce program participants, who this year hailed from a variety of corporate sectors, including public finance, pharmaceuticals and cargo transportation, to most the important subject areas in the fields of logistics and management.

"The rapid changes that are affecting logistics operations require supply chain professionals to continuously update their skills,” explains Rod Franklin, Adjunct Professor of Logistics and Academic Director of Executive Education. “Our International Summer School in Supply Chain Management provides these professionals with the latest thinking in the management of complex, international logistics operations.”

As well as supply chain management, course modules also covered topics such as managerial skills, service innovation and business relationship building. “I especially enjoyed the modules negotiations techniques and supply chain management,” says Novakovic. “I liked the topics themselves, the practical part and the chance to improve our own negotiation techniques. I liked the way the professor taught and how we could apply what we learnt to our real life.

“The program really improved my understanding of supply chain management and the importance of finding good partners and communicating well between companies. Also, how SCM should be guided and the rules you need to follow.”

Away from the classroom, Novakovic says she was impressed with visits to global logistics powerhouses such as Airbus and the Hamburg Port Authority, and an executive dinner, where Thomas Lütje, the Managing Director of the HHLA Container Terminals in Hamburg, spoke.

The program, she says, not only enhanced her business skills and knowledge, but also presented her with the opportunity to form bonds with her classmates. “It was very nice to meet people from different countries and learn together. It was very good for making future network connections and this is one of the most important things the course can offer.”