James Windsor joined the HR graduate programme in 2010. He is currently a HR Business Partner for DHL.
Why did you choose the DHL Graduate Programme?
I didn’t know much about logistics but have always found it interesting so wanted to learn more. DHL is a global company and a market leader so had great career and development opportunities to offer. Also, to have the option to study for further qualifications during the scheme really attracted me.
How has being a part of the DHL Graduate Programme helped you accomplish what you have with your career?
Certainly the variety of placements and networks I built during the scheme really helped. Also, my ability to be able to get information quickly is more enhanced thanks to the experience I gained during the programme.
What is your current role in DHL?
HR Business Partner (HRBP) - After the graduate programme my first role was as a HR Change Partner, for 18 months. Then I did a 6 month secondment as a HRBP, and then this role was made permanent. My responsibilities include being accountable for delivering the people strategy for our public sector business unit, which involves meeting external customers and making sure everything we do is ethical, legal, moral, social, and commercial. The main challenges I face in this role is trying to be different and coming up with innovative people solutions to maximise performance, whilst always ensuring I manage people appropriately to ensure we remain employer of choice.
What type of person do you think is the right fit for DHL?
Someone who is focused on respect and results, understands and embraces diversity, and is committed to excellence. They must have a drive to succeed and progress in the business. Also, someone who believes and follows our 5 core competencies: make customers more successful, shape direction and strategy, drive high performance, develop yourself, and develop others.
What advice would you give to future graduates in the DHL programme?
Be open minded about the placements you do. Some may not seem relevant at the time but they do give you a complete picture of what the company is about, and this is important. Listen more than you speak, be humble and respectful. It is important to focus on building relationships at work. Also, don't be afraid to say you don't understand or to ask for support. A lot of graduates want to prove themselves by taking too much on but it is important to know what is a priority and what isn't - saying no is a key learning point!