Ryan Rooney is Production & Packing Manager, iKan Papercrafts. Ryan loves his job, and thanks to his recent Rising Stars award, he was able to add even more skills under his career belt. We talked to Ryan about his award as well as his advice for others thinking of joining the sector. 

What did your Rising Star award allow you to do? 

My award allowed me to do two courses with the Knowledge Academy, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt and Prince2 Project Management (Foundation & Practitioner). I completed these online over a period of two weeks running concurrently and found them to be delivered well with excellent trainers. 

Do you feel more confident in your role after receiving an award?

Learning new skills certainly helps you trust that you are doing things the right way and gives you the confidence in your convictions to try new things and push into new areas.  I also feel confident in sharing my learnings with other members of the business.

Do you have any advice for other people looking at print as a career choice?

I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the print industry, which I have now been in for ten years. There really is a role for everyone, from manufacturing to design, estimating and sales and more! It’s great to work with different people and personalities, and I’m forever in awe of designers who come up with the concepts that my side of the operation turns into a reality.

From an overall perspective of advice, I would say that print is becoming more digital every year. Being computer savvy is certainly something that has helped me in my career so far, so I would recommend you people think about their digital skills. 

My other advice would be to learn everything you can and embrace every opportunity. You will learn what you enjoy, what you excel at and what you don’t like, and all of this can help guide your focus. I came into print at 16 years old and at that stage didn’t know what I wanted to do going forward, but from embracing opportunities I found what makes me tick. 

It’s a fast paced and exciting industry with new innovations always around the corner and it’s fascinating to watch this ever changing landscape.

Would you recommend the course to other Rising Star applicants?

I would certainly recommend both courses I undertook to other applicants, in both cases the skills are transferable across different areas of a business from Customer Service, Production / Operations, Studio, Purchasing and more. I have personally seen a lot of benefit and enjoyed undertaking the courses, they were both well delivered, and the trainers were brilliant at keeping me engaged throughout.

What are your aspirations for the future of your career?

I am extremely driven in the sense that I want to learn more all the time and expand my own skill sets and knowledge. I am currently completing a Level 5 in Leadership and Management with the BPIF and plan on continuing my education both at work through mentorship and learning from others and through formal training qualifications. 

I am passionate about Production and Operations Management and aspire to be an Operations Director, helping business succeed through my leadership and building teams, developing people, and helping them excel in their roles. I feel it’s a privilege to be able to help, guide and train new talent coming into the industry, and I would like to put myself in a position where I can help to do that.

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