Kate Jones attended the University of Chester and joined the Supply Chain & Logistics graduate programme in 2014. She is currently the Bid Manager for Business Development.
Why did you choose the DHL Graduate Programme?
My initial attraction to DHL was due to the size and scale of the business and opportunity to work across multiple sectors, on an international scale. The programme itself offered diverse learning through a combination of placements and leadership training which I felt was important to my learning and development.
What was your favourite experience/memory during the Graduate Programme?
The graduate project which forms part of the first placement is the best experience from being on the scheme, not only does it act as a stretch assignment by working with geographically dispersed teams, but requires strict discipline due to different working hours (days / nights) whilst giving the opportunity to truly own and develop a project that can add value to the business.
What makes the DHL graduate programme unique?
The range of experience across a number of sectors whilst remaining with one organisation.
How has being a part of the DHL Graduate Programme helped you accomplish what you have with your career?
Being on the programme has provided me with a great foundation to starting out in DHL. In particular my first placement which was the UKI Payroll Programme wasn’t something I would have ordinarily been interested in. That’s where the programme really adds value because it gives you a new experience that you wouldn’t necessarily consider of interest. Again, with my second placement I had the opportunity of joining the Specialist Services Division (where I remain today) working on the NUMS Police Uniform implementation which was the complete opposite in terms of work content – but both equality valuable and very exciting.
What is your current role in DHL?
In my current role as Bid Manager, I operate across the Specialist Services Division working closely with the Business Development team on new opportunities. My role is to support and lead the bid team from opportunity assessment all the way through to close and contract (O2D).
I’m very passionate about what I do and thoroughly enjoy developing solutions that support our customers in meeting their business needs and remaining competitive in their markets.
In particular, Specialist Services is a great advocate for innovation and drives our business to innovate and explore untouched market – this I see as a strong contributing factor to my role on a day to day basis, but also my career and personal development.
What type of person do you think is the right fit for DHL?
A person with passion and creativity who wants to challenge the current thinking and develop not only themselves but the business they operate in. A team player is also key, throughout placements and working in different teams having a team approach is fundamental. Being able to articulate ideas and solutions in a clear way and being able to inspire and lead others.
What advice would you give to future graduates in the DHL programme?
Flexibility is key and the most important aspect of the programme for me personally, due to the size and geographic spread of our business there is travel required, which isn’t always easy, but very worthwhile when you look at the longer term view of learning, development and career propositions in DHL. I think having a mentor is vital, having an experienced senior business leader really helps in structuring learning and reflecting on approach and style.