Howard Collins

Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Trains

"Many of my classmates were from different industries, which was conducive to good teamwork, and without any doubt my ability to study and work simultaneously helped me when I became a general manager in 1999 and was responsible for a number of lines."

MBA alumnus Howard Collins on a train

As Chief Operating Officer of London Underground, Howard achieved many men's boyhood dream – to drive a train! After a 35-year career with London Underground, Howard moved to Australia in July last year to take over as Chief Executive Officer of Sydney trains, a position he feels he would never have attained without his Westminster Business School MBA.

Howard left school at 18 and joined a two-year training programme at London Transport, where he was put through every operational job: "Because I hadn't gone to university I was finding it quite a challenge when going for jobs against graduate trainees," he says. Howard received sponsorship from London Underground to study at Westminster. "I was really keen to do a practical, pragmatic course where I could put my learning into practice straightaway.

We were closing the East London line for major refurbishment at the time, and I did my thesis on the impact – a piece of work which directly influenced my day job. 

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