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Grad Snapshot

ALDI


 

Ben

1. What is your background and what did you study?

I studied Commerce at UNSW, and worked as a duty manager at a cinema throughout this time.

2. What does a typical day as a grad look like?

The great thing about the graduate program is there isn’t really a ‘typical’ day at all. I’ve worked in stores, in the warehouse, in the office, and travelled across the state doing project work.

3. Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely. I have colleagues with backgrounds in law, science, engineering, education, and even military.

4. What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The autonomy, the responsibility, and above all: the people.

5. What are the limitations of your job?

There are some long and challenging days, but I honestly don’t view that as a limitation. It’s a far cry from a ‘9-5’ desk job, which is my idea of limiting.

6. What 3 pieces of advice would you give your student self?

  • Travel, travel, travel
  • Defer your degree and keep travelling
  • Don’t live off instant noodles to save money, just shop at Aldi! (not sponsored, I promise)

7. What is your favourite ALDI product?

Our entire meat range is great, but the rump steaks are truly phenomenal.


 

Brodan

1. What is your background and what did you study?

My dual degree in Law and Commerce (majoring in finance) at the University of Queensland helped me land work in banks, professional service firms and law firms throughout my studies. I chose to study such a broad degree because I had no idea what I wanted to do when I graduated, but I never imagined I would end up working at ALDI.

2. What does a typical day as a grad look like?

There is no such thing as a typical day as an ALDI Graduate, and that’s what I loved about the Graduate Program! Whether you’re running a store, working in a regional department, or developing contacts at our Corporate Head Office in Sydney, every day brings an exciting new challenge.

3. Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely. The diverse backgrounds of our Area Manager team is one of ALDI’s greatest strengths. As long as you have the ability to stay cool headed, think on your feet and solve complex problems, anybody can be an Area Manager.

4. What’s the coolest thing about your job?

I’m probably one of the only graduates in Australia that can say they have had the opportunity to gain insights and work in every role within the company they are employed by. At ALDI, that exposure included going into “The Chocolate Room” with some of our Buying Assistants – and yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.

5. What are the limitations of your job?

The Area Manager role is not a 9-5 job. It can be quite demanding at times; big hours, early mornings, late nights, weekend work, and even a possibility that you might be required to relocate. While the work isn’t for everyone, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

6. What 3 pieces of advice would you give your student self?

  • Use your free time wisely – you won’t be working 3 days a week forever.
  • Make a plan and stick to your deadlines – procrastinating doesn’t bode well in the workplace.
  • Shop at ALDI – throughout my studies I was definitely a convenience shopper. As there were no ALDIs within walking distance of my university accommodation, I spent a small fortune shopping with other retailers.

7. What is your favourite ALDI product?

Easy question, our Brownie Bites! I was warned about these delicious snacks by my mentor on my first day with the company but obviously didn’t heed the warning. Now I can easily eat 1-2 packs a day.


 

Carson

1. What is your background and what did you study?

I grew up in Western Sydney where I spent most of my childhood and younger schooling years. At the age of fourteen I relocated to the Sunshine Coast in Queensland with my family and have been there ever since. I studied Law, Business, English, Mathematics and Information Technology in my final school years whilst completing a Certificate 2 and Certificate 3 in Retail Management through McDonalds.

I graduated school and decided to take a management position at McDonalds. I also decided I wanted to study Law and got accepted into a law degree. Six weeks into the course, I realised it was definitely not for me! I changed my degree to a Bachelor of Business and chose two majors; one in Management and one in Human Resource Management. I spent the next two and a half years progressing through my degree and working part-time in management. I applied for ALDI in my final year at the University of the Sunshine Coast and started my position as a Graduate Area Manager in February of 2018. I consider it to be one of the best decisions I have ever made and I have not looked back since.

2. What does a typical day as a grad look like?

I don’t think there is a typical day as such. The graduate program is very structured and exposes you to the broader business which means you learn a lot about different departments. You spend time in Store Operations, Property, Safety, Warehouse, Purchasing and with established Area Managers learning their role. I would say that in the role of Area Manager you spend most days visiting stores, having meaningful discussions with your teams, recruiting new employees, and enjoying tackling the day-to-day challenges that arise. Each day is just as enjoyable as the last, it also helps to have a good sense of humour and optimism.

3. Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely! There are so many different Area Managers and Area Manager Graduates that have unique backgrounds from Law to Engineering to Business and everything in-between. This job is about your ability in leadership and leading teams. You have to be people focused too; without our people, we wouldn’t be successful and that’s the same in this business as it is in any business. If you are passionate, motivated, optimistic, have a strong work ethic, people focused, and care about leadership then this career might just be the right one for you.

4. What is the coolest thing about your job?

I love the challenge that the job brings. Throughout the program, seeing the varied roles across the business in different departments showcased the different challenges we all face every single day. It also illustrated the strength and resilience of each person in the business to find a solution and overcome those challenges. As you get exposed to more and more challenges, you refine your decision making and then get thrown something completely new you have never seen before and it’s your job to overcome it. As an Area Manager you are surrounded by a strong culture that gives you support with even the most difficult situations. I am fortunate that I have excellent store teams, directors and colleagues that have helped me navigate some unique experiences and encounters in my time at ALDI and also challenge me to be a better version of myself every single day.

5. What are the limitations of your job?

Being an Area Manager in a retail business means long hours, time pressures, late nights, early mornings and weekend work. If you have strong time management and are able to prioritise effectively, you will be able to manage, control, and work these limitations into your working week. The results though are definitely worth it and you can succeed in creating a positive and stable work-life balance.

6. What 3 pieces of advice would you give your student self?

  • Enjoy the time you have at university! It is a great opportunity to learn, network, challenge, and develop your skills and leadership. Make sure you have fun at the same time and don’t be afraid to follow what you are passionate about.
  • Make a work-life balance a high priority. Take the time out of each day or week to spend time with or call your family. Take that holiday you have been saving for and learn good time management. Utilise the tools available to manage your days and prioritise. Even though in most jobs and at university you need to work long hours, you can still achieve a great work life balance despite this.
  • One of the best pieces of advice I ever received is to constantly be a student. You can easily fall into the trap of complacency even when there is so much to learn. You will never know everything, however you are likely to know someone who has the answer or can help to point you in the right direction.

 

Katie

1. What is your background and what did you study?

I started my career at 18 as a Mortgage Broker for several years until moving overseas to the UK where I stayed for several years raising a family and taking on a myriad of different roles from Sales & Finance at a scientific conference company to room leader in a childcare centre. Upon returning to Australia I studied a BBus majoring in Sustainability.

2. What does a typical day as a grad look like?

During our training we wear any number of hats as we are lucky to train over a variety of roles within the company. This means there is a steep learning curve as we need to have a strong understanding and capability in each role within a limited time frame. Each role comes with its own distinct and varied routines. Whilst working in uniform at store level or in transport we often start between 4am-6am, rostered until around 1pm or 3pm. Whilst some roles are more physically demanding than others, one constant is the amount of steps we do in a day and the amount of kms we rack up. The AM role is not an office job and whether we are stacking shelves, loading trucks, rostering, hiring, completing floor walks with our store managers, date checking or auditing any of the wide range of store standards, we’re always on the move.

3. Could someone with a different background do your job?

Definitely, we have Area Managers from many different industries including medical, defence, legal and finance to name a few.

4. What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The amount of autonomy and trust our managers put in us as we learn and improve, to ensure we have full responsibility within our role. We also have a lot of chances to create improvement and initiate organisational change.

5. What 3 pieces of advice would you give your student self?

  • Use your time as a student to get to know yourself and your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
  • Be honest about what you really want and whether you want to work on your weaknesses or play only to your strengths.
  • Be authentic, in interviews, during training (and generally!) to ensure whatever role you take on is a genuine fit and you can live what you do.

6. What is your favourite ALDI product?

It’s a tough call. I do all my shopping at ALDI so I use everything! I particularly like our Christmas biscuit selection lines and our Choceur Dark Chocolate block!


 

Stephanie

1. What is your background and what did you study?

Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing)/Bachelor of Music (Performance). Worked in hospitality since I was old enough to get a job, then switched to retail as an entertainment service provider at a cinema while I was studying at university. Worked my way up to management there and really enjoyed managing people. Decided to continue down that path on a bigger scale.

2. What does a typical day as a grad look like?

Meeting and getting to know a variety of different people, learning new skills and processes, making real business decisions from the get go, learning how a large business operates. So much learning, practice and self-development!

3. Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely.

4. What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The level of responsibility you have.

5. What piece of advice would you give your student self?

You’re not going to nail everything the first time but keep trying, ask for help when you need it and don’t be too hard on yourself. You will get there.


 

Stewart

1. What is your background and what did you study?

Original from a farming community on the Murray River, I moved to Melbourne to study Mechanical Engineering and Finance.

2. What does a typical day as a grad look like?

Every day is unlike the last. While we may have regular meetings or catch ups with our managers, there are always projects and unplanned events that come up that you must utilise your experience, training and colleagues to ensure the best outcome is achieved.

3. Could someone with a different background do your job?

We have a wide range of backgrounds and experience for Area Managers in our region. From finance to physio and engineering to economics. Those with a strong work commitment and a passion for people will succeed in this role.

4. What’s the coolest thing about your job?

Being accountable for multi-million dollar businesses, leading a team of upwards of 100 and managing projects on a daily process are just some of the examples of the high levels of responsibility that comes with the role.

5. What are the limitations of your job?

Time. While you can always put in another few hours to get the job done, retail never finishes. Prioritising your time to ensure you have a good work/life balance can be a challenge at first, however it will develop your organisation and management skills.

6. What 3 pieces of advice would you give your student self?

  • Continue to drive your own training and personal development
  • Never stop asking questions
  • Always think “is this the best practice?”

7. What is your favourite ALDI product?

The scotch fillet steaks are some of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten and you simply can’t beat the price. I am honoured to be a part of a business that supports the local WA farmers and economy.


 

Thomas

1. What is your background and what did you study?

I studied a double degree in Law & Commerce at university as I wasn’t 100% sure on the career path I wanted to take. I was doing seasonal work in event management overseas in the UAE when the position at Aldi presented itself to me – I certainly haven’t looked back since.

2. What does a typical day as a grad look like?

Lots of moving around and constantly meeting and building relationships with new people. Throw in some auditing, a bit of recruitment and responding to calls and emails and you’ve got an average day! There are definitely no two days that are the same as an ALDI grad.

3. Could someone with a different background do your job?

Absolutely – there is no one specific mould that makes a good Area Manager. Any background that has encouraged critical thinking, attention to detail and relationship building will put you in great stead to take on the grad role.

4. What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The fact that I am not tied to one particular place, and that I have the freedom to move around between stores as I see fit in order to get the most out of each day.

5. What is your favourite ALDI product?

It’s got to be Knoppers!


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