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 Fiona Smith

Fiona Smith



+44 (0) 1392 726875

Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK

Fiona brings many years business experience to the Business School, most recently completing a full time taught Masters in Human Resource Management (Distinction and Dean’s Commendation University of Exeter) in 2019.  A Mathematics for Business graduate (University of Middlesex), Fiona worked internationally within the IT industry, designing and project managing large-scale system integration projects primarily for oil companies following the Piper Alpha disaster.  Fiona’s IT experience also includes other geographies and sectors (airlines, rail, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, engineering and Government), for example designing a pan-European vehicle tracking system for Interpol to combat cross-border car crime, linking vehicle registration data from multiple countries.

Fiona moved to account management (sales) before managing international marketing within a venture capital-funded ($50M) IT start-up focused upon ‘super-charging’ the emerging internet marketplace using a new technology.  Fiona contributed towards rapid organisational growth, defining a new technology marketplace (middleware), building a brand, briefing industry analysts such as Gartner Group, business and IT journalists, building sales pipeline, whilst also recruiting and managing an international team.  Growing rapidly through acquisition as well as recruitment, and following the initial IPO on the NASDAQ (BEAS), Fiona was a key member of the global re-branding team that further accelerated awareness and reputation resulting in two share splits, establishing BEA Systems as competitors to IBM and Oracle in this marketplace.  A ‘unicorn’ - BEA Systems were the fastest company to achieve $1billion revenue at that time (1998).  Later directing EMEA PR, Fiona was responsible for creating and delivering a multi-million dollar PR strategy, leveraging customer success stories such as coordinating press release of the World’s first internet enabled household object (a fridge) with partners Nokia and LG (early IoT), and a focus upon key messaging consistency through development of employee spokespeople within multiple fields of expertise.  Oracle acquired BEA Systems.

Fiona moved to the South West establishing a suite of complementary eco-tourism businesses: low carbon-use cottage holidays; planting over 2000 trees to mitigate visitor transportation carbon; small-scale farming of rare breed pigs and cattle; teaching courses on pig husbandry, curing and meat smoking; developing a range of organic beauty products with turnkey marketing for holiday cottage re-branding; hosting visiting artists from overseas and promoting local, sustainable business for 13 years.  Most recently Fiona has worked for the Probation Service (rehabilitation services) and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service (supporting the Chief Fire Officer and updating organisational policies).

Research interests

  • Predictive analytics
  • Gender equality
  • Effective transfer of research to business

Fiona is considering areas for PhD research.

Research projects

Supervising MBA and MSc Human Resource Management student dissertations

External positions

  • Theory & Practice of Management (BEM1016(A))
  • Human Resource Management (BEM2021)

Fiona considers seminars a key part in consolidating learning through the application of knowledge, developing many skills including:

  • team working
  • organisation and time management
  • leadership and followship
  • negotiation, persuasion and conflict resolution 
  • active listening
  • appreciation of difference
  • constructive feedback (giving and receiving)

Fiona welcomes the opportunity to get to know students and provide specific feedback and help whilst working in seminar groups and via dissertation supervision and is happy to provide additional assistance via email scheduled meetings.