Time at Kuehne + Nagel: 3 Years
Hobbies: I’m an avid sports fan & hockey player
Fun Fact: I have a phobia of swans, and get petrified if I have to walk anywhere near them!
What did your graduate programme involve?
I started in an International Road sales branch which gave me the opportunity to understand how we work with our Customers and manage each of our accounts, whilst also getting to grips with the logistics business and what our Customers expect of a freight forwarder. I then moved into the Operations team responsible for making sure all of the bookings our sales team have made are arranged and delivered on time for our Customer. Colleagues in this team have been with Kuehne + Nagel for years and I was able to learn a huge amount from their expertise and experience. My third placement in the central team had a wide variety of focus areas including tenders, IT development, network governance, sales support, management reporting and customer implementations. I had the chance to work through each of these roles before moving on to my final placement in our specialist KN PharmaChain team as a project manager. So as you can tell, the programme was very varied but it meant I got to experience every area of the International Road department, build a strong network of contacts and to understand where I could progress my career after the programme.
What were the development workshops like?
There are four workshops held over the two year programme focused on specific development areas; developing self & others, developing teamwork, focusing on the organisation and focusing on the future. Each of the workshops were 3 day intensive courses where we had the chance to bond as a group of graduates, as well as focus on personal development.
A great thing about the workshops was that they included guest speakers and business sessions, normally ran by members of our UK board or senior management teams. It made the sessions really relatable and interesting and it was a chance to develop our networking skills and interact with the people that are leading our business strategy.
Where are you now?
Both the placements and workshops have led me to where I am today. My first role after the programme was as an Overland Process Engineer in which I was responsible for the project management of some of our major blue-chip customer implementations. The role was great because it touched all areas of finance, HR, IT, operations and sales, meaning I got the chance to network and collaborate with senior managers from all over the business.
Development doesn’t stop once you leave the programme though and this year I was promoted to European Overland Team Leader for one of our major pharmaceutical contracts. I now manage a team and I’m responsible for all of our customer’s UK domestic and export movements – over €5 million worth of business a year.
What would you say to future graduates?
Kuehne + Nagel is a great place to work as a graduate. There is a real buy in from the UK board and the senior management teams to develop graduates into future leaders, and you’re given real responsibility and deliverables from day one. There’s a lot to do and you have to be committed and work hard but you get lots of support from mentors, buddies and the programme lead to support you along your graduate journey.