Nicola Tilston

Head Of Emerging Talent
Human Resource career path

Why did you choose the DHL Graduate Programme?

I was working for a small company as part of a project team who were outsourcing their logistics operation to DHL. I really enjoyed the experience, especially the interactions with the DHL team and this led me to becoming interested in working for the organisation. When a member of their team suggested I apply for DHL’s graduate programme it was a no brainer.

What makes the DHL Graduate Programme unique?

It gives people a good core understanding of our operations, so that every graduate can really get to understand what we actually do. It also allows you to move around the business and experience different areas/functions, which I found invaluable.

What roles have you had with DHL since being on the Graduate Programme?

I started as a Customer Service Manager and then moved from DHL Supply Chain to become a Senior Account Coordinator for the International Supply Chain department within DHL Global Forwarding. I moved back to DHL Supply Chain and had a regional role governing IT related projects across our European region. My fourth job was as a Project Manager for a large internal Human Resources transformation programme. I then moved to be the Project Manager for the closure of our final salary pension scheme. I progressed into a Programme Management role for our UK Finance Transformation Programme and after this, I decided that a complete change of direction might be good thing and moved into a HR role as the Head of Emerging Talent within DHL Supply Chains Talent Centre of Excellence, UK.

How has being a part of the DHL Graduate Programme helped you accomplish what you have with your career?

Coming up through the graduate programme helped me realise that ultimately you have control of your own development. You are given many opportunities on the programme, but it is down to you to work hard, deliver results, prove yourself and then strive to continue to develop.

What advice would you give to our future graduates?

If you have made it onto the graduate programme then you have obviously done something right already! Now it’s time to take the opportunities and make the most of them. Don’t sit around waiting for other people to look after your development, you are responsible for your future, no one else! If I could go back in time I wish I had realised this sooner.

What type of person do you think is the right fit for DHL?

Someone who is adaptable to change and someone who has high levels of resilience because some operational environments are highly pressured with a lot of responsibility. So long as you can demonstrate that you’re invested in our core values and are prepared to work hard, the opportunities that working for a global organisation brings, are endless.


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