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The importance of languages in business

The importance of languages in business
Mr John Rowlatt, production manager at Roquette UK.
Thursday 10th October 2013 by C. Freeman

Mr John Rowlatt, production manager at Roquette, visited Brooke Weston to talk to students about language opportunities in modern business. He gave 20-minute presentations to students in Years 11, 12 and 13 and spoke in both assemblies.

He outlined how the business world has changed over the past couple of decades with a rise in technology meaning that more companies now have international or global sites and trade far more widely than a couple of decades ago.

Roquette, a predominantly European-based firm, also has sites in North America, India and Asia. It converts cereals into a range of intermediate starch products/derivatives that can be used in a wide range of applications. Products also include gluten to fortify loaves, sugars for confectionery and products for the pharmaceutical industry.

Mr Rowlatt said: ‘The world is shrinking because of modern technology. If something happens in India, China or Spain you can see it on your phone or computer virtually straight away. When I left school Paris might as well have been on the moon. Now I can be in my headquarters near Lille for a meeting in just five hours. I do a lot of liaison with French, Spanish and Italian colleagues.

If I have 40 applicants for a job I might spend two minutes reading each CV. As an applicant you get yourselves noticed by having a good spread of subjects and very good grades. You need to perform to the best of your abilities so you need to put in the maximum amount of work. When you apply for a job and submit your CV, you know that the grades on there are the best you can do. You give yourself the maximum chance of starting through the interview process. Proper planning prevents poor performance.’

‘The standard of education globally has risen. Language studies is very important to give students extra opportunities. In the last 12 months Germany is actively recruiting people from Britain to go over there and do apprenticeships. The main reason I came in to talk to students at Brooke Weston is to explain why languages are important and why it is important to do well in school. It is very competitive in industry. Any job that you can do in the UK you can do in the rest of the world. If you have got the language for that country then it opens up a whole range of opportunities.’

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