I Got Hired: Graduate Trainee at DHL
Posted on: 27 November 2019 in Case studies
Scott McDonald is a recent graduate from the BA Honours Marketing with Year in Industry at the University of Liverpool. He is now working as a Graduate Trainee in the Future Leaders Graduate Programme at DHL. Scott discusses how his placement year improved his skills, the benefits of having a part-time job and the importance of our Career Connect programme and support available in the Career Studio while at University.
What has been your best experience while studying your course at the University of Liverpool?
Tough question! I am not normally short for words but can't really pick out one experience from my course.
Which aspects of your course do you think have been the most beneficial to your career development?
I think the main aspect of my course that has been the most beneficial to my career development would be the practical group projects or presentations. This is because communication and sharing ideas in a team environment under pressure to achieve a certain goal according to a set timeline shares many similarities with tasks that are given to me on a day to day basis in my current position. Additionally, there would be times during group projects at university when there were disagreements, which isn't a bad thing, normally because people have different ideas. Thus, an agreement would have to made between the team in order to find the best solution going forward. This is where a common goal between the team of succeeding in their project takes priority, similar to my career whereby decisions made as a group must be of the best interest of the company (e.g. saving the most money etc.)
Can you please share an insight into your current role and if this was supported by your time at the University of Liverpool?
I am currently a graduate trainee for DHL on the Future Leaders Graduate Programme. Working in supply chain and logistics, specifically manufacturing logistics for the time being. My role is to learn how a large supply chain operates on a daily basis, understanding the different functions and how to manage those functions efficiently going forward.
The University of Liverpool considerably helped me with securing this position. Firstly, I did a course including a placement year, which helped me understand the commercial nature of business and improve my softer skills significantly (communication, business acumen, etc.). This was a real bonus when it came to applying for graduate positions as the employer sees it as a great responsibility taken by the graduate at hand.
Secondly, by working for the Careers & Employability service as a Career Coach and engaging with the Careers Service throughout my final year of studies I really grasped, over time, what employability meant to different employers ensuring I could see what they wanted from an applicant.
Do you have any top tips to share with future and current students?
My three main top tips for future and current students would be:
Be brave- Don't be afraid to contact employers with any questions regarding the role or application process. If anything, an email or a phone call or asking the question in person at an event only shows your enthusiasm and interest for the role and may give you a chance to build rapport with the employer.
Make the most of University- Doing something is always better than doing nothing! Try new things and take advantage of all the opportunities university offers (societies, sports, events etc). This is a really good way of making yourself stand out to a potential employer but it is also fun while you're doing it!
Never give up- Don't be fooled by thinking a degree is a job in itself! It is only a small helping hand. You will face rejections in the application process and setbacks are inevitable. However, there are so many different roles that you can apply for and your first job may not always end up being your career. So never give up in your search, if you're unsure about a role still apply as it is always a good experience to have and be confident that your abilities and effort will eventually reap rewards.
What is the first thing that you think of when you think of the University of Liverpool?
Homely! A friendly, supportive and fun place to be!