What did you study? When did you graduate?
I studied a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in Accounting and Commercial Law from the University of Auckland. I graduated mid-year 2018.
Where did you grow up? Important stages of your life (school, education, experience abroad, jobs etc.)
I grew up in Auckland and did all of my studies (Primary through to University) in Auckland. I got my first job when I was 16 and then worked in various retail roles. I always loved working and getting to interact with so many different people with different backgrounds; a majority of my closest friends are from work!
Before I finished my degree, I applied for the Toll Graduate Program and was fortunate enough to be selected to be part of New Zealand’s first intake. It was halfway through my first year, where I was selected to do an international rotation in Singapore for 3 months. It was my first time away from home for that length of time and allowed me to grow personally and professionally. Since then, I am still growing and figuring out my future role at Toll that I will move into mid-year 2020.
How did you get to your current job position? For how long have you had it?
I applied for my job on Toll’s website. I did the various interview stages and was lucky enough to be offered a spot on the Graduate Program. I have been in this role since July 2018
How did you choose your specialisation (compared to others)? / Were you weighing up any other alternatives before choosing this specialisation?
I chose Transport and Logistics because I liked the stability of the industry. Transport is a huge backbone of the economy, and without it, so many things would stop moving (literally). Growth and career advancement were also a huge factor in choosing this specialization. The opportunity to progress into a management role within the business is as strong as any. The industry has so many different roles and levels, so opportunities for career advancements are always available. All the learning and training on the job means that you learn about operations from the ground up and enhance your career prospects through the abundance of opportunities available.
What was your interview process like? What kind of questions were you asked?
The process was really good but also quite lengthy. I had to do analytical testing, a video interview, an assessment centre and a face to face interview. The kind of questions I was asked was the pretty standard interview questions such as “Tell me about a challenge or conflict you've faced at work, and how you dealt with it”, “How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?” etc. The assessment centre was a little bit different; however, here we were presented with various situations and worked both alone and in teams to solve the problems/come up with solutions. At the end of the day, I was asked what I would have done differently during the assessment centre, allowing me to reflect on the day to my interviewers.
What does your employer do?
Toll New Zealand delivers freight forwarding, end-to-end transport services and comprehensive logistics solutions to customers operating in New Zealand.
In New Zealand Toll offers comprehensive intermodal freight distribution options for parcels and freight, domestically and internationally. Using our national rail, road and sea multi-modal transport services, backed by the global resources and networks of the Toll Group, we can deliver your parcel or freight anywhere within New Zealand or around the world. We can also move your car and relocate or store your household and office contents.
In addition to our transport and relocation capabilities, we’re experts in providing fully integrated logistics solutions - we can manage your supply chain, warehouse your goods for you and support you with 3PL services.
What are your areas of responsibility?
It depends on your rotation. There have been some rotations where I was responsible for our reporting and customer services, somewhere I was in charge of an entire fleet of trucks and had to manage their daily planning and somewhere I had to do analytical and compliance works.
Can you describe a typical workday? What was the last thing you worked on?
There is never really a typical workday at Toll. Everyday my work can change depending on the business needs. Most recently, I have been working on helping our Health, and Safety Manager does the Risk Assessments for our new site. I also completed some analysis on our Linehaul operations looking both at the commercial performance and operational utilisation of our assets.
What are the career prospects with your job? / Where could you or others in your position go from here?
There are definitely a lot of options for where we can go. The program is good in that it does not limit us to one area of the business. Following the Graduate Program, you could go into Global Express, Logistics or Forwarding and the many roles within these business areas. Currently post-program I am looking at analyst, transport, account management, business development and operation roles as possibilities.
Could someone with a different background do your job?
Definitely! The great thing about the program is that it’s not restricted to what you studied. All of us Graduates studied different things and have been given the chance to explore things that we studied as well as things completely new to us. There is a lot of mentoring and training, so as long as you come into the role with an open mind, willingness to learn and a positive attitude, you will thrive!
What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?
I was very uncertain about my future career path, which is why I selected the Toll Graduate Program, this way I can get some exposure to different options and select my career based on what I enjoyed. If I wasn’t at Toll I would have wanted to get into Procurement, Buying or Product Co-ordination.
What do you love the most about your job? Which kind of task do you enjoy the most?
What I love most about my job are the different opportunities that I have been able to be exposed too. No two days have ever been the same at work. The program focuses on ensuring that you are constantly moving through the business to understand all business divisions. I have worked on-site with Tolls largest customer in New Zealand and as a result, been able to witness their operations as well. I have been to Singapore and had exposure to the international operations of Toll. Toll New Zealand has recently also opened Toll Tamaki which is our new Auckland Branch. I was lucky enough to be involved in this project and see some of the work that goes into moving the entire operation to a new area, including how we manage health and safety and all the other details involved in this.
What’s the biggest limitation of your job? Do you bear a lot of responsibility? Do you have to work on weekends? Are the stress levels high?
Working in Transport and Logistics can be extremely high pressured and in instances where you are still new to the business and field, this means that mistakes can happen and it can be hard to deal with this. There is also some alternating hours as the operation in Auckland is 24 hours, I have worked morning and evening shifts, and this can definitely take its toll on your body. You definitely have to be flexible, and thankfully the program ensures you always have a lot of support so you can speak up if you feel this way! I’ve worked a couple of Saturdays, but that’s optional for sure, I just really wanted to be involved in seeing the operations on those days!
Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student? They don’t necessarily have to be related to your role or even be career-focused.