Andy Keeling (Master of Business Administration, 2001)
Chief Operating Officer for Leicester City Council
Andy has always wanted to work in the public sector and believes passionately in the public service ethos. After completing his first degree in housing and development at the University of the West of England in Bristol, Andy decided that he wanted to pursue a postgraduate course that would provide him with a respected management qualification. Impressed by the reputation of the Leicester Business School, he chose to study the Master of Administration (MBA) course at DMU.
Alongside his studies, Andy was also working for the housing department at Leicester City Council, and the MBA course allowed him to supplement his public sector experience with knowledge of the private sector.
“Coming from a public sector background, I enjoyed mixing with students from the private sector. My professional life has developed in an era with the ethos that public sector is bad and private sector is good, so it was reassuring to be brought into contact with the good, the bad and the indifferent in relation to the private sector and practices”.
After graduating, Andy remained working for Leicester City Council, taking on roles in many different areas including neighbourhood renewal, regeneration and development and corporate resources. In 2008, he was made Chief Operating Officer with responsibility for looking after Leicester City Council and its 16,000 employees.
“I am responsible for all of Leicester City Council’s operations. This responsibility is shared between my management team and also the Political Executive. Politically, the buck stops with City Mayor as he is the boss, but organisationally to a large extent it stops with me.”
Andy feels that his greatest achievement is having a job that he enjoys doing for an organisation he has always cared about.
“The best thing about my job is that I get to do it in Leicester, my home town. I am incredibly proud of Leicester and its achievements. I’m not sure how it quite happened but to be able to do this job in Leicester is fantastic.”
When asked what advice he would give to others looking at getting into the same line of work, Andy offers the following words of wisdom.
“Accept the potential that others see in you and don’t be afraid. Also develop your emotional intelligence, knowing yourself and being able to read those around you is invaluable.”
Andy feels that his course at DMU gave him fresh perspectives, confidence and the knowledge that helps him to work in a place that he is happy to be part of.
“I enjoyed the course, the people and the experience; I had a lot of fun.”