Chris Adams attended Sheffield Hallam University and joined the Supply Chain & Logistics graduate programme in 2007. He is currently a General Manager looking after the national HMPPS account.
Why did you choose the DHL Graduate Programme?
My degree was in Business Studies, specializing in Operations Management and so Operations was always something I had a passion for when I was younger. Being able to apply what I learnt at University into my everyday work was a real driver to apply for the DHL graduate programme.
What was your favourite experience/memory during the Graduate Programme?
Whilst I enjoyed all 3 of my placements, I learnt a lot about myself whilst on placement at the Tesco Frozen DC in Crick. Not only was it a tough working environment (cold!!) it was the national distribution of frozen food for Tesco and so the operation was intense, which was my first real insight into a 24/7, 365 warehouse.
What makes the DHL graduate programme unique?
The opportunities have changed now to when I was on the programme, and by that I mean that our contract base is now much more diverse, and we have so many interesting operations within our client base.
How has being a part of the DHL Graduate Programme helped you accomplish what you have with your career?
The programme gave me such a great foundation to work across a number of operations, in different sectors, but most importantly allowed me to network so effectively across our business. Networking is absolutely key from a personal development and career perspective, and the programme really does support graduates through this area of learning.
What is your current role in DHL?
I have recently moved into a new role which is looking after the national HMPPS (formerly NOMS) account as General Manager. We have a great team that have seen this contract go from strength to strength during our 8 years with the contract. We cover 17 workshops across the contract, but ultimately deliver ordered product to prisoners across the UK’s prison network. Prior to this I spent 7 years working on our airline catering accounts in Passenger Gateway.
What type of person do you think is the right fit for DHL?
The great thing about our business is that everyone is different, that is what makes us the best. However, to grow your career in our business you will need to be hardworking, flexible and willing to listen.
What advice would you give to future graduates in the DHL programme?
Always ensure you get a firm operational grounding and understanding. I spent 5 of my 10 years on the operation floor in a variety of operations. This has been pivotal to my career progression in recent years, and I have no doubt will continue to be so. I have seen so many people reach a ceiling too quick because of a lack of operational knowledge. Remember, Operations is the core of our business.