Brian MacAulay - Malt Distilleries, Spirit Supply & Warehousing Group Manager

Brian MacAulay - Malt Distilleries, Spirit Supply & Warehousing Group Manager

What is your name?

Brian MacAulay

What company do you currently work for?

Chivas Brothers

What is your job title?

Malt Distilleries, Spirit Supply & Warehousing Group Manager

Provide a brief description of your business

Manufacturing / Spirits Business - Where a team of talented individuals across many departments come together to make great products.

Describe your career pathway after leaving school

After leaving school, I got a job as a Distillery Operator although didn't really know what I wanted as a long-term career.

After 3-4 years of learning and developing in the job and demonstrating a desire to learn more, I took on different tasks which were attributed to management roles. From there I was successful in getting into a 12-month management training program which just newly opened up.

I then progressed from distillery to distillery, then into other departments, then onto major projects and then more senior management roles in different areas of the business.

Over my 30 year career, I have only stayed in a role for an average of three years but this demonstrates the different opportunities people have in large organisations if they are up for exciting change and challenge. All these different roles meant I was able to take on senior positions at a relatively young age and then progress through senior roles into my current position with the company.

During this journey, I developed personally through self starting open university courses to help me in job and then an MBA. All these different roles while doing the education at the same time was a real challenge on my time and required significant commitment but it was worth it and I really enjoyed the journey as both were supporting me do what I really enjoy, managing different processes, projects and people.

During this journey, I met a lot of great people through work and education and I was and still am continually learning.

What school subjects would be helpful for your job role?

  • Business
  • English
  • Maths

What is your favourite thing about the work that you do?

  • Learning and being challenged
  • Being instrumental in some of the great business projects within the business and in Moray
  • Seeing people develop in roles and go beyond what they thought was there potential. There is great potential in people, we all just need the right environment to grow and develop

Why did you want to work in this industry?

I was not sure to be honest. My family were all in it and I thought I would do something different for a change, I was fortunate to get a job offer and only then did I realise the potential in this great business sector.

Did you ever want to pursue another career?

Not when I realised this sector offers everything from processes, projects and people, these covered all the areas I then found I really enjoyed.

What does a typical day in your role involve?

I am fortunate to have a large span of operations from Process, Technical, Engineering, Operations and People. My day means moving from one topic to another during the day. A bit of travelling around Scotland to other sites. I also work closely with other departments in our business - HR, Legal, Finance, Environment - as they all support our operations and therefore we all need to be aligned to achieve success for our teams and the business globally.

What skills are required to do your job?

I feel people can learn most of the skills for this job of managing people, processes and projects, if they have the correct attitude. You have to be willing to learn and develop as the world of business and technology changes. A positive attitude and a desire to make a difference goes a long way.

What is your advice to young people who are considering working in this sector?

Join the manufacturing sector. It offers up a huge range of roles and opportunities which means you can transfer these skills if you wish to change businesses or sectors. Businesses, when in role, offer many development opportunities - either in-house training or external training - and this is something you should explore at interviews (as an example Chivas/Pernod Ricard have there own university outside Paris and I have been on courses there a few times and work with teams from all over the world which was is great experience while learning!). These are not always shared when jobs are advertised, business share what they are asking for in terms of skills and experience. Ask at the interview how the businesses would support the development of skills and experience if they felt you were maybe needing to develop in areas. By doing this, you can also learn to explore what is the real potential in the company and the people within that business.

Any other comments?

There are more to companies than a just a job! Great training and development takes place in all workplaces.

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Here at DYW Moray, we'd like to encourage those of you who are employed in Moray to share your career story with us so that we can promote these to Moray's young people. Go on, share your career story now!

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