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Thomas Vaccher

What's your job about?

Diageo Australia is world’s leading premium drinks company, owning and producing some of the world’s most famous spirit brands. I am the current Supply Graduate, with my first rotation being in the technical team. As a liquid and packaging tech, I work on ensuring products meet specifications, and that the packaging is compliant, on time and delivered at a high quality to the customer. Projects I’ve been working on are mainly to do with ensuring consistent quality. This means I am being stretched into areas such as QA, liquid technology, packaging, procurement, and many other areas I have never been exposed to before! A standard day involves meetings with colleagues to ensure projects are on time and to share findings, trips out to suppliers to inspect how our materials are being made, and a lot of investigation into processes and how things work – or how they SHOULD work, and the issues we can iron out!! The deeper you dive into it, the more technical this role becomes, meaning there’s always room to learn more, and never a boring day.

What's your background?

I grew up in Sydney, and was fortunate enough to attend a private high school, where my love for practical sciences and rugby started. I finished year twelve knowing I wanted to do engineering, but wasn’t sold on any major. After my first year of uni, I changed my major to Petroleum Engineering, and from there was exposed to a wide range of skills and opportunities. During uni I worked part time at a bar and bottle shop, fostering my passion for the liquor industry. In my penultimate year of uni, I did vacation work at an oil company, working in downstream and tank operations. Although I loved this experience, I was looking for something more in a grad job, and due to the nature of the industry at the time, there were very few oil jobs. I was seeking a technical role, so when the opportunity came up to interview for Diageo, I was very excited. After meeting the team at the assessment day, and learning more about the company, I saw potential to extend myself and apply my skillsets to a new challenge. I joined Diageo on the Graduate Program in mid-January, and through the many social opportunities and the friendly nature of the company, I feel like I have already made many lifelong friends. The first few weeks with the company has been a whirlwind of new information, but it has been great fun and I am excited to throw myself into the role and the company.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

DEFINITELY!! I am a firm believer that any person can fit into any role, as long as they are genuinely interested and put their heart and soul into it every day. Most people in similar roles to mine have degrees in food science. Petroleum engineering is definitely left of centre, but liquid and safety considerations for flammable products is very similar. The most important qualities required are a will to learn and listen, and a process-minded approach.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

The coolest thing about Diageo is that it’s like working backstage at Disneyland for adults! Every day, everything we do is about producing the quality products which we see in thousands of bars, clubs, and homes across Asia Pacific. Also, the breadth of exposure you get is amazing. There is super technical aspects of chemistry, structures, engineering, computing, logistics and everything in between. It’s awesome!!

What are the limitations of your job?

Any job is really what you make of it. If you push yourself, you can gain responsibility quickly, and dive deep into the heart of processes. However, the job can be daunting as there is always something new happening and something more to learn. My job is based on supporting the manufacturing operations, so targets have to be met, and timing is of the essence in all you do. It’s a very quick paced environment – the factory is always running so there’s is never a dull moment. This can be great or terrible depending on what you’re like.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Have a clear goal of where you want to be in 5 and 10 years.
  • You may not start where you expected, but take the skills and lessons from that, and keep learning and working your way to where you want to be.
  • Enjoy it!! University is a unique experience where you get to do whatever you want! Embrace the chance to be (almost) carefree; go to all the parties, book that flight, and turn up to that exam late cause you forgot it was THIS Tuesday…