“I think my learning and experience at Exeter provided an excellent base from which to build the interesting and varied career I've enjoyed to date.”

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Colin Fletcher, SAMI Consulting

Fellow, SAMI Consulting

Colin completed his MA in Economics at Exeter back in 1968, before the Business School was even established. But the 'real-world' approach to Economics the School is well known for today was already in evidence.

I studied Economics at Exeter for two main reasons. Firstly, the programme and resources had an excellent reputation, even then. Secondly, I wanted to study something with vocational value that would prepare me for a career - and inspire me to get out there and take advantage of opportunities.

I think my learning and experience at Exeter provided an excellent base from which to build the interesting and varied career I've enjoyed to date. And from what I understand, the Business School has maintained its focus on research and links with industry.

My first foray into strategic planning was with Economic Consultants Ltd, and shortly after that Peat Marwick Mitchell - who we know today as KPMG. I worked on several strategy and marketing assignments, plus many project planning and appraisal studies during my time there.

I joined John Laing Plc in 1979 and held many different roles, eventually becoming Director of Strategic Planning and Business Development. The company constructed, and now owns, operates and manages infrastructure assets in the UK and internationally. I spent a lot of time on public and private sector development projects and investment appraisals in the UK, Europe, the US, South America, Africa, Japan, South East Asia and the Middle East. I've travelled a lot!

I left John Laing in 2002 to set up my own strategic planning consultancy, working in construction, property and housing. I've enjoyed working on a wide range of projects, developing 'scenarios' that inform business strategy. Basically, this means using my knowledge and experience to help all kinds of businesses and organisations make better plans for the future. I encourage decision makers to look carefully at the bigger picture and think about how their decisions can affect it.

I'm also a trustee of a charitable foundation that funds conservation, a member of a management committee for an arts-based organisation, and a fellow and member of the executive management team for another, more broadly based strategy consultancy.

I honestly believe that my Economics study at Exeter, albeit a long time ago, gave me the confidence to explore career possibilities and apply my learning to a wide range of roles. And it seems the Business School maintains that vital link to the real world today - which is hugely encouraging for the latest generation of economists.