Derek McDonald – European Facilities Manager for Kellogs Upskills at Portobello Institute

BSc (Hons) in Facilities and Workplace Management

Facilities Management

Derek McDonald, European Facilities Manager for Kellogs, was part of the first graduating cohort of studies from the BSc (Hons) in Workplace and Facilities Management at Portobello Institute.

Few, if any, providers offered Honours degrees in Facilities Management at the time, so he was extremely proud to attend his graduation day.

Derek says that not only was the material covered in the course informative, but he was able to put it into practice in his role day to day.

“It was very good, I done level 5 leading up to it with Portobello, so I knew the lecturers quite well. It was very informative, and they added some new lecturers who are brilliant.

“The experience was good, it takes a lot of time out of your weekend which is tough but that’s the reward at the end of it when you get to stand here and have our degree.

“It was very good, love the information that they give you. A lot of the content you are able to relate back to now in the job which is a big bonus because sometimes you can get material that you may not look at again.

“A lot of the stuff that we worked on in the degree programme I work on day to day so that’s fantastic.

I’m a European Facilities Manager for Kellogs so I look after all their offices across Europe.

“When I did level 5 it was more about facilities management but level 6 and the degree programme was more about strategy and how you look to the future with your role so my role is all about how we service our offices in Europe to make it what we want to fit our culture so we are doing a lot of retrofitting at the moment, I was in Paris yesterday looking at a new site.

“All the work that we did in terms of strategy, in terms of leadership, that’s all coming to the fore now, I’m still reading back on the notes now, it has been very useful.  

“I absolutely love the role that I’m doing.  

Portobello was the only one offering the degree programme at the level we were doing which was great but I had also been there before at level 5.

“It was mainly the lecturers we have had a lot of great lecturers and that is the key, that is the draw because you want to be going to people who have experience so when you are talking to them in class they understand where you’re coming from and they know the questions you’re asking and why you’re asking them and they are able to answer them so it was all down to the lecturers. It’s part-time, delivered through blended learning too so it allowed me to still do my job.  

It has helped me in my career, I moved roles just as I finished the degree programme and it was a big plus and when I put it on LinkedIn and my CV a couple of people rang me and asked me about it, asked me if I wanted to move.

“I did move and one of the big selling points on my CV was my degree being able to talk about it in interviews and even more so when you get your degree and you can show it to your new boss.  

“It opens up a lot more opportunities, a lot more avenues to you because when people see you have done the degree it means you are passionate about your role, you are putting in the effort and you want to progress and learn.

“I think everyone here will say that about their career and it’s a proud moment. It is something I have always wanted to do,” he said.

If you are like Derek and looking for the right FM qualification to follow your passion and progress in your career, you can check out the full list of courses on offer at Portobello Institute by visiting the department page here.

If you are interested in any of our Facilities Management degrees or qualifications you can book a consultation call with our expert FM advisor Brandon McLean here, email [email protected] or call 01 892 0035.

Derek McDonald – European Facilities Manager for Kellogs Upskills at Portobello Institute Derek McDonald – European Facilities Manager for Kellogs Upskills at Portobello Institute